Monday, December 28, 2009

What is Diabetes? what you should know

Around one percent of the population in the United States has diabetes. This means that around sixteen million people have been diagnosed with the , based only on national statistics. The American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes accounts for 178,000 deaths, as well as 54,000 amputees, & 12,000-24,000 cases of blindness annually. Blindness is twenty-five times even more common among diabetic patients in comparison with nondiabetics. If current trends continue, by the year 2010 complications of diabetes will exceed both heart & cancer as the leading cause of death in The united states.

is a affecting the manner in which the body handles digested carbohydrates. If neglected, diabetes can cause severe health complications, ranging from blindness to kidney failure.

Diabetics have a high level of blood glucose. Blood sugar level is regulated by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which releases it in response to carbohydrate consumption. Insulin causes the cells of the body to absorb glucose from the blood. The glucose then serves as fuel for cellular functions.

Traditional diagnostic standards for diabetes have been fasting plasma glucose levels greater than 140 mg/dL on 2 occasions & plasma glucose greater than 200 mg/dL following a 75-gram glucose load. However, even more recently, the American Diabetes Association lowered the criteria for a diabetes diagnosis to fasting plasma glucose levels equal to or higher than 126 mg/dL. Fasting plasma levels outside the normal limit demand further testing, usually by repeating the fasting plasma glucose check & (if indicated) initiating an oral glucose tolerance check.

There's 2 different varieties of diabetes.
Type I Diabetes (juvenile diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes): The cause of type I diabetes starts with pancreatic inability to make insulin. This causes 5-10% of cases of diabetes. The pancreatic Islet of Langerhans cells, which secrete the hormone, are destroyed by the patient's own immune method, probably because it mistakes them for a virus. Viral infections are believed to be the trigger that sets off this auto-immune . Type I diabetes is most prevelant in the caucasian population & has a hereditary component.

The lots of symptoms of diabetes include excessive urination, excessive thirst & hunger, sudden weight loss, blurred vision, delay in healing of wounds, dry & itchy skin, repeated infections, fatigue & headache. While suggestive of diabetes, these symptoms can also be caused by other factors, & therefore somebody with symptoms suspicious of the should be tested.

If untreated, Type I or juvenile diabetes can lead to death within two to one months of the onset, as the cells of the body starve because they no longer get the hormonal prompt to absorb glucose. While a great majority of Type I diabetics are young (hence the term Juvenile Diabetes), the condition can create at any age. Autoimmune diabetes is diagnosed by an immunological assay which shows the presence of anti-insulin/anti-islet-cell antibodies.

Type II Diabetes (non insulin dependent diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes): This diabetes is a consequence of body tissues becoming resistant to the effects of insulin. It accounts for 90-95% of cases. In lots of cases the pancreas is producing a plentiful amount of insulin, however the cells of the body have become unresponsive to its effect due to the chronically high level of the hormone. Finally the pancreas will exhaust its over-active secretion of the hormone, & insulin levels fall to beneath normal.

A tendency towards Type II diabetes is hereditary, although it is unlikely to create in normal-weight individuals eating a low- or even moderate-carbohydrate diet. fat, sedentary individuals who eat poor-quality diets built around refined starch, which constantly activates pancreatic insulin secretion, are liable to create insulin resistance. Native peoples like North American Aboriginals, whose traditional diets never included refined starch & sugar until these items were introduced by Europeans, have high rates of diabetes, two times the rate of caucasians. Blacks & hispanics are also at higher risk of the . Though Type II diabetes is not as immediately disastrous as Type I, it can lead to health complications after lots of years & cause serious disability & shortened lifespan. As with Type I diabetes, the condition develops primarily in a definite age group, in this case patients over forty (which is why it is typically termed Adult Onset Diabetes); however, with the rise in childhood & teenage obesity, this condition is being seen for the first time in school kids as well.

If treatment is neglected, both Type I & Type II diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications like kidney destroy (nephropathy), heart , nerve destroy (neuropathy), retinal destroy & blindness(retinopathy), & hypoglycemia (extreme reduction in glucose levels). Diabetes damages blood vessels, smaller end-arteries, leading to severe & premature atherosclerosis. Diabetics are liable to foot problems because neuropathy, which afflicts about ten percent of patients, causes their feet to lose sensation. Foot injuries, common in day-to-day living, go unnoticed, & these injuries cannot heal because of atherosclerotic blockage of the microscopic arteries in the foot. Gangrene & subsequent amputation of toes, feet or even legs is the result for lots of elderly patients with poorly-controlled diabetes. Usually these sequelae are seen sooner in Type I than Type II diabetes, because Type II patients have a little amount of their own insulin production left to buffer changes in blood sugar levels.

In theory, since it induced by diet, Type II diabetes should be preventable & manageable by dietary changes alone. However, as so often happens, clinical theory is defeated by human nature in this case, as lots of diabetics (& lots of fat people without diabetes) find it personally impossible to lose weight or even stick to a diet free of starchy, sugary junk food. So Type II diabetes is frequently treated with drugs which restore the body's response to its own insulin, & in a few cases injections of insulin.

Type I diabetes is a severe & there is no known permanent cure for it. Nevertheless, the symptoms can be controlled by strict dietary monitering & insulin injections. Implanted pumps which release insulin immediately in response to changes in blood glucose are in the testing stages.

 note that this article is not a subsitute for medical advice. If you suspect you have diabetes or even are in a high risk demographic group, see your doctor.

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