What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease with an elevated glucose level in the blood. In time can lead to serious complications in your body.

The prevalence of diabetes is growing around the world with new people diagnosed everyday with the disease.

Diabetes explained for dummies

Explaining diabetes can be difficult and one can go to great extent in explaining the how the disease is caused and the related complications.

But I will explain it in brief so anyone can understand it,

Everyone has an organ in their body called the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ that produce the hormone called insulin.

The function of insulin is to lower your blood sugar levels. But in diabetes what can happen is the pancreas will either not produce enough insulin or the body will not respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas.

If the body has a low lever of insulin then you have type one diabetes and if the body is not responding to the insulin produced then you have type two diabetes.

Either way, you will have high levels of glucose in your blood. And this is not a good thing.

Type one is usually genetically acquired, what one should worry is about Type 2 diabetes. Which is usually associated with poor lifestyle choices.

Type 1 diabetes explained
Type 1 diabetes explained
Type 2 diabetes explained
Type 2 diabetes explained

Symptoms of diabetes

Diabetes can go undiagnosed for a long time, maybe years. This is because unlike fever or any other illness people won’t get symptoms they ignore them until they are diagnosed by chance.

  • Unexplained weight loss without a loss of appetite
  • Excessive thirst – polydipsia
  • Excessive urination – polyuria
  • Increased urination at night – nocturia
  • Excessive hunger – polyphagia

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should go and consult a doctor.

Who are at risk of developing diabetes

  • If someone’s parents or relatives have diabetes then you have a high chance of getting diabetes.
  • If someone is obese or overweight then there is a higher chance of developing diabetes.
  • When you have poor dietary habits then you will have a higher chance of developing diabetes.

Tests to diagnose diabetes

A doctor will order some blood tests that will help him to diagnose whether somone has diabetes or not. According to the latest criteria,

  • If you have a fasting blood glucose level of 120mg/dl or more.
  • If you have an HbA1C value of 6.5% or more.
  • A random blood glucose value of 200mg/dl or more.

What happens after getting diagnosed with diabetes?

If someone gets diagnosed with diabetes the doctor will prescribe some medication, they will help to control their blood glucose levels.

Not only they will have to take these medications, but also they will have to take a healthy diet, exercise regularly and monitor your blood glucose values on a regular basis.

Don’t panic, you are not alone

Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be a traumatic experience, one can feel depressed and angry. That is totally alright.

However, if you have diabetes you are not alone and there are different organisations out there to help people with diabetes. There are forums and subreddits where people can openly discuss and update their knowledge about the disease.

You will have to give up certain things if you have diabetes

If you by any chance gets diagnosed with diabetes you might need to give up on certain things.

You can’t eat anything you want, and you must maintain a strict dietary control in what you eat. You will have to select certain types of food that is good for you and avoid certain types of food that will increase your blood glucose levels. And this might mean giving up your favourite food.

I know it is not easy, and things can be bit difficult at first. But, don’t worry that is why Grub It is here for you to provide you with awesome recipes.

Not only that you will have to maintain a good meal plan but also follow it every day. Check Grub It meal plan for more information (coming soon).

Ways to avoid getting diabetes.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, it is always a good thing to live a healthy life by eating a healthy diet and changing your lifestyle. Yes, it is easy to try out the juicy burgers and restaurants that you will find from your friends and on the internet.

Exercise more, today people are living a sedentary life. Which is not a good thing. The rising obesity is fuelling a growth in the number of people with type two diabetes.

Drink water as your primary beverage, I know cutting down on your favourite sugary drink is not easy. But did you know how easy it is to make a drink that is tasty and healthy at the same time from ingredients at your home? Check out our recipe section for more information.

Ultimately, as a person, you should be more responsible about your health than anyone else and living a healthy long life.

If you found this article useful then please share it amongst your friends and help them from to lead a healthy life.


Dr Rukshan Ranatunge is a graduate from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya (MBBS). He is currently studying for his masters in health informatics.