It was a cloudy day. I had an ominous feeling as we elbowed are our way into the train(which is acquired skill essential for survival ) . There was a mad rush that day and it seemed as though I had people coming out of my ears. I tried to wave to my Dad to get his attention but he seemed distant. His normally bright eyes were dull and listless. His face appeared to be pale. His breath was shallow and his hands were cold and clammy. Right before my eyes he fell , face first on the ground. That my friends right there was a hypoglycemic attack.
My father is a known case of diabetes and is thus prone to experience fatigue , hypoglycemic attacks , increased frequency of urination, ravenous hunger and unquenchable thirst. Diabetes and its dreaded blue circle symbol which has baffled us doctors for the longest of time is now rampant in India, making it the second most leading cause of death. To make matters worse nearly 52% of the Indians are unaware that they have high blood sugar.
Diabetes was described for the first time in 1500 BC in Egypt.The word Diabetes means to pass through referring to polyuria which is a common symptom. Diabetes mellitus is defined by WHO as a heterogeneous metabolic disorder characterised by a common feature of chronic hyperglycemia with disturbance of carbohydrate , fat and protein metabolism. Diabetes is classified as diabetes type 1 , diabetes type 2 , gestational diabetes and diabetes due to other causes like endocrinopathies , infections , drugs etc. The most common amongst them is diabetes type 2 .
Diabetes results if the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced in the body. Pathogenesis for type 1 DM includes genetic susceptibility, autoimmune response to beta cells and any environmental factor. Causes for type 2 DM include insulin resistance, impaired secretion and obesity.
Diagnosis can be done on the basis of several tests like urine , blood sugar level , glucose tolerance test , glycosalated haemoglobin , glycated albumin , insulin assay , proinsulin assay , c peptide assay , islet autoantibodies etc. As per the American Diabetes Association a random blood sugar sample > 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes.
A stitch in time saves nine! For the complications are severe indeed. These range from acute ones like diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar non ketotic coma and hypoglycemia to systemic complications like atherosclerosis, nephropathy, neuropathy, microangiopathy and retinopathy. Scientists all over the world are thus trying to reverse it.
If you ask me the question can diabetes be reversed ? Depends on the type I would reply. Type 1 is fairly permanent though a recent study at Missouri University states that combining the drug Ig-GAD 2 with adult stem cells from the bone marrow holds the key to the cure. Gestational diabetes is temporary. But what about type 2 ? Can that be fully reversed ? It sounds too good to be true! However it is ! Shocked ? I...