Medically speaking, Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).
Quick Reference on Diabetes
· Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
· Type 1 Diabetes - the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
· Type 2 Diabetes - the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
· Gestational Diabetes - this type affects females during pregnancy.
· The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
· If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life.
· Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels.
· As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly.
· As smoking might have a serious effect on cardiovascular health, diabetics should stop smoking.
· Hypoglycemia - low blood glucose - can have a bad effect on the patient. Hyperglycemia - when blood glucose is too high - can also have a bad effect on the patient.
Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide have Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is when the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance).
Some people may be able to control their type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, doing plenty of exercise, and monitoring their blood glucose levels. However, type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease - it gradually gets worse - and the patient will probably end up have to take insulin, usually in tablet form.
Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. People with a lot of visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight/obese causes the body to release chemicals that can destabilize the body's cardiovascular and metabolic systems.
Being overweight, physically inactive and eating the wrong foods all contribute to our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking just one can of (non-diet) soda per day can raise our risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%, researchers from Imperial College London reported in the journal Diabetologia. The scientists believe that the impact of sugary soft drinks on diabetes risk may be a direct one, rather than simply an influence on body weight.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also greater as we get older. Experts are not completely sure why, but say that as we age we tend to put on weight and become less physically active. Those with a close relative who had/had type 2 diabetes, people of Middle Eastern, African, or South Asian descent also have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Men whose testosterone levels are low have been found to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, say that low testosterone levels are linked to insulin resistance.
Diabetes Is A Metabolism Disorder
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood - it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.
When our food is digested, the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream. Our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present - insulin makes it possible for our cells to take in the glucose.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, as soon as glucose enters the cells blood-glucose levels drop.
A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin, produces no insulin, or has cells that do not respond properly to the insulin the pancreas produces. This results in too much glucose building up in the blood. This excess blood glucose eventually passes out of the body in urine. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements.
Diabetes can take a toll on nearly every organ in your body, including the heart and blood vessels; eyes; kidneys; gums and teeth; and the nervous system.
Heart disease and blood vessel disease are common problems for many people who don’t have their diabetes under control. You're twice as likely to have heart problems and strokes as people who don’t have the condition. Blood vessel damage or nerve damage may also cause foot problems that, in rare cases, can lead to amputations. More than half the legs and feet removed are not lost because of an injury, but as a result of this disease.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new vision loss in the U.S. in adults 20 to 74 years old. It can lead to eye problems, some of which can cause blindness if not treated: Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in adults in the U.S., accounting for almost half of new cases. You might not notice any problems with early diabetes-related kidney disease. In later stages it can make your legs and feet swell.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can harm your nerves. As many as 70% of people with diabetes get this type of damage. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy can cause pain and burning or a loss of feeling in your feet. It usually starts with your toes. It can also affect your hands and other body parts. Autonomic neuropathy stems from damage to the nerves that control your internal organs. Symptoms include sexual problems, digestive issues (a condition called gastroparesis), trouble sensing when your bladder is full, dizziness and fainting, or not knowing when your blood sugar is low
Having diabetes puts you at higher risk for gum disease. Your gums might be red and swollen and bleed easily.
Controlling Diabetes - Treatment Is Effective And Important
All types of diabetes are treatable. Diabetes type 1 lasts a lifetime, there is no known cure. Type 2 usually lasts a lifetime, however, some people have managed to get rid of their symptoms without medication, through a combination of exercise, diet and body weight control.
What are your choices?
1. Do nothing and suffer, then die.
2. Diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by a person being a normal body weight, physical exercise, and following a healthful diet. Dietary changes known to be effective in helping to prevent diabetes include a diet rich in whole grains and fiber, and choosing good fats, such as polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils, and fish. Limiting sugary beverages and eating less red meat and other sources of saturated fat can also help in the prevention of diabetes. Active smoking is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, so smoking cessation can be an important preventive measure as well.
1. If you are overweight, you should have a blood test taken to determine your A1C and fasting plasma glucose levels. The lab results will determine the proper course of treatment recommended by your physician.
2. It may require that you lose weight, moderate your diet, and begin an exercise routine.
The choice is yours.