Diabetes is not a verdict, but food for thought

No one wants to hurt, this is understandable. The real threat of diabetes worries every sensible person: “What if this happens to me? Will I have time to “spread the straw” so as not to fall painfully?”

The answer is yes. From the start of diabetes to the development of its irreversible complications, it takes about five years. Time for “laying straw” is enough!

You can often hear the beautiful phrase: “Diabetes is not a disease, but a way of life.” To me this statement seems crafty.

In fact, diabetes is a serious chronic disease, a gross breakdown in the metabolism. If you ignore diabetes and do not adequately treat it, it is necessarily realized in serious complications.

Diabetes has many targets: cardiovascular and nervous systems, eyes, kidneys, legs …

It can be said that “sweet blood is poisonous”: chronic hyperglycemia is fraught with inevitable health problems, it shortens life.

Still, the diagnosis of “diabetes” is not a sentence, not a dead end.

There is a solution: to organize your life in such a way that diabetes does not damage the cells of your body.

To do this, learn to maintain blood sugar levels closer to normal.

This is not so difficult if you follow the basic principles of diabetes treatment: a properly organized diet, regular physical activity, a reasonably chosen drug therapy.

Full control of diabetes is the achievement and preservation of blood glucose targets.

Indicators you need to know

A normal fasting plasma glucose level is 3.3–5.5 mmol / l; and during the day, 2 hours after meals, within 3.3–7.7 mmol / l.

If fasting blood sugar is more than 5.5 but less than 7.0 mmol / l, we say that a person has “impaired fasting glucose (NGN).

If 2 hours after a meal, blood sugar is higher than 7.7, but lower than 11.1 mmol / l, then this is called “impaired glucose tolerance” (IGT).

These disorders of carbohydrate metabolism are classified as pre-diabetic. That is, people who have an increase in blood glucose in this “gray zone” are at risk for diabetes.

The fact that a person has diabetes mellitus is reported to us by fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol / l and / or 2 hours after eating ≥ 11.1 mmol / l.

There is another indicator that indicates the presence of diabetes. This is glycosylated (glycated) hemoglobin. It is designated HbA1c. This indicator reflects your carbohydrate metabolism over the past 3 months.

Why is carbohydrate metabolism important for 3 months?

The fact is that any protein enters with glucose into a chemical reaction: glycation. The higher the level of glucose, the greater the percentage of proteins undergoing glycation. Hemoglobin, an erythrocyte protein, reacts in glycation. We know that in individuals with normal carbohydrate metabolism, HbA1c makes up from 4.5 to 6.0% of the total amount of hemoglobin. And we also know that the pool of red blood cells is updated in about 3 months. Therefore, estimating the percentage of HbA1c, we understand how the glucose level in the last 3 months was normal, elevated or very high.

In diabetes, it is considered that the compensation is satisfactory if HbA1c is <7% and very bad (chronic decompensation), if HbA1c is> 9%.

In children, young patients, pregnant women, one should strive to maintain an ideal carbohydrate metabolism, i.e. HbA1c <6%.

But in each case, taking into account the duration of the disease complications, the patient’s age, associated diseases, the target HbA1c values ​​are determined by the doctor.

HbA1c ≥ 6.5% indicates the presence of diabetes

Useful curiosity

Measuring blood glucose today is just as simple a household procedure as measuring blood pressure. Many of your friends, relatives, acquaintances have blood glucose meters at home, and the measurement of glycemia for themselves and others is a kind of entertainment for them.

So you were curious to measure your blood sugar.

After 5 seconds, you completely unexpectedly get a result that exceeds normal values.

What to do if blood sugar was elevated?

Of course, immediately consult a doctor.

After additional research, the doctor will determine whether you have diabetes or you are still at high risk of developing it.

To do this, on precise laboratory equipment, blood glucose is examined on an empty stomach and 2 hours after meals; will determine the level of glycated hemoglobin. According to the results of the examination the doctor will make a verdict.

Let’s assume the most unpleasant option: you have diabetes. What to do?

First of all, do not despair, because it is not a sentence, but rather information for reflection.

We have already said that there are many people with diabetes in the world: about 10% of humanity. Outwardly, they practically do not differ from those who do not have diabetes, most of them live a normal full life without experiencing much discomfort from their illness.

So maybe this is not a disease at all? If diabetes occurs so often, if you can live with it happily, then why did we decide that high blood sugar is not normal?

And what if this is a variant of the norm?

Alas, constantly elevated blood glucose is not the norm. Although there are cases when high blood sugar is not a pathology.

Imagine being attacked by a wild beast. If at this moment to measure your glucose level, then, most likely, it will be above the norm. This is because, at the command of the nervous system, in response to a sudden danger, release of stress hormones has occurred, causing our heart to beat faster, breathing more deeply, giving our muscles strength to defend themselves or to run fast.

How do stress hormones give muscles strength? They provide them with energy in the form of glucose released from the depot, which is located in the liver.

Muscle cells capture this glucose and in special cellular “power stations” – mitochondria – glucose passes the path of transformations, which ends with the formation of ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate). It is the macroergic bonds of ATP that is the energy reserve at the expense of which we exist.

A short-term increase in blood glucose under stress is not a pathology, but an adaptive response of the body to suddenly changing conditions.

In diabetes, blood sugar does not increase for several minutes or even for several hours.

Diabetes mellitus is chronic hyperglycemia (an increase in blood glucose), and it is dangerous.

Reducing high blood glucose is not difficult. An experienced doctor will do it quickly and safely.

In chronic hyperglycemia, all types of metabolism are disturbed, the state of the walls of blood vessels and nerve fibers changes, the retina of the eyes and the kidney filtration system are damaged.

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