All About Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

In order to determine whether or not a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes, we conduct a Fasting Blood Glucose Test (FBG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform.

With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.

In the OGTT test, a person’s blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.

Major Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:

  • Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
  • Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
  • Finding out you have diabetes is scary. But don’t panic. Having diabetes is serious, but people with diabetes can live long, healthy, happy lives.

    3 Gestational Diabetes

    Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes.

    Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.

    4 Pre Diabetes

    Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre-diabetes” — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes.

    Research has also shown that if you take action to manage your blood glucose when you have pre-diabetes, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes from ever developing.

    How to Tell if You Have Pre-Diabetes

    While diabetes and pre-diabetes occur in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk for developing the disease than others.

    There are two different tests your doctor can use to determine whether you have pre-diabetes: the fasting blood glucose test (FPG) or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The blood glucose levels measured after these tests determine whether you have a normal metabolism, or whether you have pre-diabetes or diabetes. If your blood glucose level is abnormal following the FPG, you have impaired fasting glucose (IFG); if your blood glucose level is abnormal following the OGTT, you have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

    Does Someone You Know Have Pre-diabetes?

    Mr. Shah, 48, was getting dangerously close to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. A fasting blood glucose done by his doctor was 111 mg/dl, and a week later it was 115 mg/dl. Normal fasting blood glucose is under 100 mg/dl; diabetes is diagnosed when the fasting blood glucose is 126 mg/dl or higher. A fasting blood glucose between 100 mg/dl and 125 mg/dl is called impaired fasting glucose (IFG).

    His doctor sent Mr. Shah for a glucose tolerance check. Mr. Shah drank a set amount of glucose; his blood glucose two hours later was 173mg/dl. Normal is under 140mg/dl, diabetes is 200 mg/dl or over. Mr. Shah had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

    Because so many people with IFG or IGT go on to develop diabetes, IFG and IGT are called pre-diabetes.

    Would Mr. Shah be one of those who gets worse and develops diabetes? Or would he be able to shift his blood glucose back to the solidly non-diabetic levels?

    Pre-diabetes was not Mr. Shah’s only problem. He had been treated for high blood pressure for eight years. He was overweight, and he had gained 20 pounds in the last year. He was not physically active. He didn’t have healthy cholesterol levels. He had a family history of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. All of these taken together meant that Mr. Shah was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and having heart problems in the future.


    Many people with pre-diabetes are able to change their fates by losing a little weight (just 10 or 20 pounds can make a difference) and walking 150 minutes a week. Losing a little weight and being more active also improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Mr. Shah met with a dietitian for help in losing weight. He had a treadmill stress test to see whether his heart could tolerate an exercise program. He was advised to do 30 minutes of brisk walking five days per week.

    Six months later, Mr. Shah returned for a check-up. He had gained seven pounds. He was exercising only 20 minutes per week. His fasting blood glucose had increased to 117 mg/dl.

    What You Can Do

    First, calculate your body mass index (BMI): Take your weight in pounds, divide by height in inches, divide by height again, then multiply by 703.

    Have your blood glucose levels checked if you are:

  • Age 45 or older, especially if your BMI is 25 or higher
  • Under age 45 but your BMI is 25 or higher plus you have another risk factor for type 2 diabetes: high blood pressure, history of gestational diabetes, a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth, polycystic ovary syndrome, HDL (good) cholesterol under 35 mg/dl, triglycerides over 250 mg/dl, first-degree relative with diabetes, history of vascular disease, or habitual inactivity.
  • Get rechecked every three years

    If blood tests determine that you have pre-diabetes:

  • Ask your doctor for exercise recommendations (Walking is an excellent exercise for most people and has proven effective in reversing pre-diabetes)
  • Redouble your efforts to lose a little weight
  • Ask your doctor about medication to prevent diabetes
  • Get your Diabetes Profile done today!

    Diabetes Profile

    Complete Blood Count, Fasting and PP Glucose, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Glycosylated Haemoglobin, Microalbumin, Creatinine, Urinalysis

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    Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever

    What is dengue?
    Dengue (pronounced den’ gee) is a disease caused by any one of four closely related viruses (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, or DEN-4). The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. In the Western Hemisphere, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the most important transmitter or vector of dengue viruses.

    What is dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF)?
    DHF is a more severe form of dengue. It can be fatal if unrecognised and not properly treated. DHF is caused by infection with the same viruses that cause dengue. With good medical management, mortality due to DHF can be less than 1%.

    How are dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) spread?
    Dengue is transmitted to people by the bite of an Aedes mosquito that is infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected with dengue virus when it bites a person who has dengue or DHF and after about a week can transmit the virus while biting a healthy person. Dengue cannot be spread directly from person to person.

    What are the symptoms of the disease?

    The principal symptoms of dengue are high fever, severe headache, backache, joint pains, nausea and vomiting, eye pain, and rash. Generally, younger children have a milder illness than older children and adults.

    Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by a fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with general signs and symptoms that could occur with many other illnesses (e.g., nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and headache). This stage is followed by hemorrhagic manifestations, tendency to bruise easily or other types of skin haemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums, and possibly internal bleeding. The smallest blood vessels (capillaries) become excessively permeable (“leaky”), allowing the fluid component to escape from the blood vessels. This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death, if circulatory failure is not corrected.

    What is the treatment for dengue?
    There is no specific medication for treatment of a dengue infection. Persons who think they have dengue should use analgesics (pain relievers) with acetaminophen and avoid those containing aspirin. They should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a physician.

    Is there an effective treatment for dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)?
    As with dengue, there is no specific medication for DHF. It can however be effectively treated by fluid replacement therapy if an early clinical diagnosis is made. Hospitalisation is frequently required in order to adequately manage DHF.

    What can be done to reduce the risk of acquiring dengue?
    There is no vaccine for preventing dengue. The best preventive measure for residents living in areas infested with Aedes aegypti is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water.
    Items that collect rainwater or are used to store water (for example, plastic containers, big drums, buckets, or used automobile tires) should be covered or properly discarded. Pet and animal watering containers and vases with fresh flowers should be emptied and scoured at least once a week. This will eliminate the mosquito eggs and larvae and reduce the number of mosquitoes present in these areas.

    Tests for Dengue
    CBC – WBC Count, Platelet Count, Haematocrit
    S. Protien, S. Albumin
    Liver Function Tests
    Urine – microscopic haematuria
    Dengue IgG & IgM.

    The tests for diagnosis of dengue infection are time dependent.
    If the patient presents within the first 5 days after onset of symptoms, which is the acute phase of the illness, a blood sample should be drawn immediately, to be tested for virus isolation. Virus can be isolated most easily in samples drawn in the first days after onset of symptoms, although it has been isolated as long as 12 days after onset.

    A convalescent-phase sample should also be drawn to test for IgM antibody. This sample should be drawn between 6 and 21 days after symptom onset.

    If the patient presents six or more days after symptom onset, the blood sample should be drawn as soon as possible. This sample should then be tested for serum IgM antibody.

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    We have successfully organized our 1st blood donation camp on 15th of Aug 2010! Some our pics! Please have a look and let us know your views!

    Chief Guest

    Chief Guest

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