Is Diabetes contagious? Top reveal about myths

The short answer is No, it’s not possible. Scientists have proven that there is not a slight chance of transmitting diabetes from one person to another. By the disease category diabetes includes in non communicable diseases. That means it doesn’t spread by human or animal contacts.

The reason people are thinking that the disease is contagious is because of it’s majority of reported cases worldwide. The statistics show that there are 463 million people are having diabetes by the year 2019. Its roughly about 9.3% from world population.

The main causes of diabetes are genetics and lifestyle factors. Because of the genetics there is a tendency that family members get diabetes. And the diabetes caused by genetics present early ages of a person’s life. Because of that also people tend to think that diabetes can be contagious.

There are 3 main types of diabetes, which are type 1, type 2 and type 3. There is a separate entity called gestational diabetes which only occurred in pregnancy.

Type 1 diabetes is the one that has genetic predisposition. These patients present young ages. Most of them found as incidental findings and some may present as diabetic emergencies like diabetic ketoacidosis. The problem with these patients are their pancreas is failing at younger age. HLA ( human leukocytes antigen ) gene is found to be responsible for type 1 diabetes. Because of the failure of the pancreas there are less amount of insulin in there body. Therefore the only treatment method for them is injecting insulin externally.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type which generally presents at old ages. These patients have impaired insulin sensitivity in their body cells and also an insulin resistance. Thereby body cells can’t effectively use glucose in the blood. They normally don’t have functional abnormality on their pancreas. So insulin is not essential on them. Therefore initial clinical management on these patients would be glucose reducing oral drugs like metformin. But later if the condition doesn’t control with oral drugs, insulin would be the last choice for them also. Generally these patients have poor quality of lifestyle. Their lifestyles are characterized by eating junk foods, sedentary days. Therefore there is a great opportunity for them to controlling diabetes with lifestyle modifications.

types of diabetes

Type 3 diabetes is co existence with chronic pancreatitis. When a person’s pancreas is damaged for long-term it’s function fails gradually. Chronic pancreatitis named by it’s ongoing inflammation for long period of time. It is caused by several factors, gall stones, alcohol are few of them. Because of the chronic pancreatitis, pancreas’s endocrine and exocrine functions fail eventually. These patients need insulin because there pancreas has lack of ability to produce. Treating for the cause is important in managing these type of patients.

Although the gestational diabetes is a separate entity, it can lead to type 2 diabetes in some patients. In pregnancy, some mothers develop insulin resistance. Mainly obese mothers and who are with a positive family history are tend to develop this. It is very important to manage gestational diabetes mellitus because the unborn child may affect. Some mothers improve after the delivery of the baby, but some might persist diabetes.

Can Diabetes transmitted through blood or sexually?

Most people think that diabetes can be transmitted through blood. But it is false. Transfusion of blood or blood products, sexual contact with diabetic patient would not cause diabetes who already doesn’t have. Same principle apply for the accidental needle prick injuries by a diabetic patient. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder which is not a blood related one. So it cannot be transmitted as other blood borne diseases. Also there is not a possibility of getting diabetes from secretions from sexual organs. Contacting with mucus membranes with diabetes patients also doesn’t cause this. There is a myth that kissing a diabetic patient can transmit diabetes to other. This is same as above. There is no chance of getting diabetes from others which is occurred due to individual endocrine problems.

Marriage with Diabetes

Can you marry a guy with Diabetes?

Marring a diabetic patient is not at all a problem. It won’t cause diabetes in a non diabetic person. But there are some issues that a wife of a diabetic husband can experience. Male patients with diabetes for long-term may develop impotence.

It’s occurred as follows.

Erection occurs due to blood collection within corpus spongiosum which has blood collection spaces. Because of the accumulation of blood penis get hardened. Blood comes to the penis through an artery called dorsal artery which is the only artery in the penis. Diabetes is known to cause vasculitis which vessel wall get inflamed. If this happens in the dorsal artery for long period of time, blood circulation through dorsal artery is affected. This is the cause for impotence in male diabetic patients.

But this doesn’t occur in every male patients. If a patient follows good dietary habits and engaging in active lifestyle there’s a less chance of developing impotence. Regular health follow ups are essential in these patients to avoid getting chronic complications of diabetes.

Can a diabetic mother transmit diabetes to the infant ?

No, there is not a slight chance of getting diabetes to the infant only because the mother is diabetic. But later the child may develop diabetes because of the genetic contribution form the mother.

But infants of a diabetic mothers may develop some serious other problems. Because mother’s high blood sugar level unborn baby tend to develop high insulin levels. Hyperinsulinemia in infants body may cause hypoglycaemia for the baby. Hypoglycaemia is a serious problem in infancy. Thereby breastfeeding of these infants is so important. Hypomagnesaemia ( low magnesium levels in blood ) and hyperbilirubinemia ( high bilirubin levels in blood ) is also some other problems. Intrauterine deaths are also reported in pregnant diabetic mothers due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Polycythaemia or increasing blood thickness is also a known complication in infants.

Therefore proper controlling of blood sugar in pregnancy is important even though it doesn’t cause diabetes in infant.

Controlling gestational diabetes

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Sapumal Edirisinghe
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