• Dr Moitryee Mahanta


Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications.

Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.

Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced. There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

1. Diabetes Mellitus results from the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”.

2. It begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop. This form was previously referred to as “non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The most common cause is excessive bod weight and insufficient exercise.

3. Gestational diabetes is the third main form, and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels.

4. Prevention and treatment involve maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot care are important for people with the disease.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus must be managed with insulin injections.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus may be treated with medications with or without insulin. Insulin and some oral medications can cause low blood sugar. Weight loss surgery in those with obesity is sometimes an effective measure in those with type 2.

Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby.

Signs and symptoms

The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes are weight loss, polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia.

Several other signs and symptoms can mark the onset of diabetes although they are not specific to the disease. In addition to the known ones above, they include blurry vision, headache, fatigue and itchy skin. Please get it checked in a diagnostic center.


All forms of diabetes increase the risk of long term complications. These typically develop after many years (10-20) but may be the first symptoms in those who have otherwise not received a diagnosis before that time.

Diabetes mellitus is characterised by recurrent or persistent high blood sugar, and is diagnosed by demonstrating any one of the following:

Fasting Plasma Glucose level 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl)

Plasma Glucose 11.1 mmol/l (200mg/dl)

Symptoms of high blood sugar and casual plasma glucose 11.1 mmol/l (200mg/dl)

Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) 48mmol/mol (6.5DCCT%).

Higher levels of physical activity (more than 90 minutes per day) reduce the risk of diabetes by 28%. Dietary changes known to be effective in helping to prevent diabetes include maintaining a diet rich in whole grains and fiber, vegetable oils and fish. Limiting sugar beverages and eating less red meat and other sources of saturated fat in also help prevent diabetes. Tobacco smoking is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes and its complications.


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