A Complete Scientific Guide to Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that impairs the body's ability to convert the nutrients it consumes into useful energy. The glucose in our blood comes from the sugars we eat. As blood glucose levels rise, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin. For energy production, sugar must be taken in by cells and insulin is in charge of that process.

But, in people who have diabetes, their bodies are unable to create enough insulin, or they are unable to make effective use of the insulin they produce. In either case, excessive sugar will be found in the bloodstream. This can result in complications with one's health over time, including issues with the kidneys, heart, and eyes.

Causes of Diabetes

Diabetes causes vary widely.

Autoimmune responses cause type 1 diabetes. This response damages pancreatic beta cells.

Type 1 diabetes symptoms may develop slowly over months but are frequently severe and hard to ignore.

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are less well known than those for type 2 diabetes. Family genetics may influence the onset of type 1 diabetes, although not always. Environmental factors like viruses may induce type 1 diabetes.

There is no evidence that diet or lifestyle decisions cause Type 1 diabetes.

New findings have illuminated type 2 diabetes's origins. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity, along with age, race, and ethnicity, contribute to the disorder. Genetics are more influential in type 2 diabetes than type 1.

Types of Diabetes

Types 1 Diabetes

The beta cells in the pancreas are responsible for producing insulin. However, in people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly assaults and destroys these cells. Hyperglycemia occurs without this hormone. Individuals with type 1 diabetes need to supplement the insulin their bodies aren't producing with insulin injections and constantly monitor their blood sugar levels.

Over 5% of all Americans have diabetes, with non-Hispanic whites having a higher incidence of type 1 than any other racial or ethnic group.

Types 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance is the root of all problems regarding type 2 diabetes. Over 20% of people with diabetes don't even realize they have it, even though type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%-95% of all instances.

People of Asian, Black, and Hispanic descent are disproportionately affected by the illness in the United States. It's also closely linked to being overweight. People with diabetes are nearly unanimously obese or overweight. Yet, type 2 diabetes does not typically affect those who are overweight. About 20% of American individuals in their 70s are diabetic; this number rises to 40% among those who are obese.

Type 3 Diabetes

So-called "type 3 diabetes" is not recognized by the medical profession, unlike the other forms of diabetes stated. Instead, it is a phrase from the field of neuroscience that describes the connection between Alzheimer's disease and other forms of neurodegeneration and insulin resistance in the brain.

Insulin influences brain cell metabolism and the way neurons transmit signals to the body. The hormone also controls the amount of blood traveling to the brain and other organs.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Please see your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms and are concerned that you may have prediabetes or diabetes.

Regardless of the specific kind of diabetes mellitus, the symptoms are universal. In order, they are −

  • Salivation grew stronger.

  • Hunger has increased (especially after eating).

  • Lost taste in one's mouth.

  • Incontinence, or the need to urinate frequently.

  • Unexpected shedding of pounds.

  • Fatigue.

  • Vision impairment.

  • Painless numbness or tingling in the limbs.

  • Wounds that take a long time to heal or don't heal at all.

  • Itchy, dry skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area).

  • Containing yeast infections frequently.

Diabetes Diagnosis

The only reliable way to find out if you have prediabetes or another kind of diabetes is to see your doctor. There is currently no reliable at-home test available for this illness. The doctor will begin by gathering information about your health and family history, asking questions like whether or not anyone in your immediate family has diabetes and what kind of diabetes they have. They will likely have you undergo these laboratory tests to check your blood sugar levels.

Treatment and Medication Options for Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs and the type of diabetes you're handling. Yet, insulin is a common medication that is typically associated with diabetes.


Self-injection with a needle, syringe, pen, or pump is the standard method of insulin administration.

Oral Medications

Diabetes can be treated with oral drugs instead of or in addition to insulin, especially in those whose systems still produce some insulin and whose A1C is below 9.

  • Metformin is the first line of defense against type 2 diabetes and is sometimes used to treat prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Brand names include Glucophage XR, Fortamet, and Glumetza. It helps regulate blood sugar by decreasing glucose production in the liver and increasing sensitivity to insulin, as a member of the biguanide class of medicines.

  • Sulfonylureas, This family of medications includes the popular mealtime supplements glipizide (Glucotrol), glimepiride (Amaryl), and glyburide (Micronase).

  • Meglitinides The meglitinide repaglinide (Prandin) increases insulin secretion by the pancreas when taken with food.

  • Thiazolidinediones Pioglitazone (Actos) is the only medication to receive FDA approval; it increases insulin sensitivity.

  • The DPP-4 Inhibitors This class includes popular diabetes medications such as sitagliptin (Januvia), linagliptin (Tradjenta), saxagliptin (Ongliza), and alogliptin. These medications boost the amount of insulin produced after eating, reducing the quantity of glucose produced.

  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists This family of medications includes the prescription pharmaceuticals liraglutide (Victoza), dulaglutide (Trulicity), and liraglutide (Ozempic), all of which are designed to replicate the actions of the incretin hormone GLP-1, which is secreted after a meal and helps to bring blood sugar levels down.

  • Agonists of the GLP-1 Receptor and the Guanylate Inositol Peptide The FDA authorized tripeptide (Mounjaro) in May 2022, making it the only medicine in this class now available. Research indicates that tripeptide can help reduce A1C and curb hunger, resulting in considerable weight loss in certain patients.

  • Pharmacological Interventions Targeting SGLT2 These include the popular diabetes medications canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance), all of which encourage the kidneys to excrete more glucose in the form of urine.

Can Diabetes be Cured?

Although there is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, medication can effectively manage the disease. In addition to insulin injections, islet transplantation may be an option for long-term care of Type 1 diabetes. Dietary changes, a decrease in carbohydrate consumption, and even bariatric surgery have all been shown to be effective in reversing Type 2 diabetes.

Several lifestyle changes can keep diabetes in check and have been proven helpful.

  • Control on Diet

  • Exercise

  • Decreasing stress

  • Quitting habits like drinking and smoking


Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started