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All About Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism due to hereditary issues or environmental causes. It is a result of an unusually high blood sugar in the body or obesity. Diabetes is brought on by a diminished production of insulin or a diminished response by the body to the insulin present. Both of these conditions lead to hyperglycemia. This in turn can lead to unexplained weight loss, excessive urine production, blurred vision, a lethargic state and changes in one’s overall metabolism. Diabetes has been relatively treatable with insulin, which became available more readily in 1921 but there is still no cure for this disease.

There are two forms of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is treated with an injection of insulin and dietary changes. Type 2 diabetes is treated with dietary changes, tablets and insulin supplementation through a specialized pump that uses a catheter. If diabetes is not treated properly it can cause long-term health issues such as cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage, impotence, poor wound healing, nerve damage and even amputation of limbs. These chronic complications can be avoided if diabetes is treated properly and lifestyle changes are made. Avoid smoking, excessive amounts of alcohol, maintain a good level of blood pressure and maintain a healthy body weight.

The three most common symptoms of diabetes are increased urination due to increased thirst and an increased appetite. These symptoms can develop as quickly as one to two weeks in Type 1 diabetes and extremely quickly with children. With Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms take much longer to develop. Diabetes, both types are partially inherited from a family member although Type 1 diabetes is most commonly triggered by a viral infection of some kind.

Doctors recommend various diabetes screenings throughout one’s life and especially if you are between the ages of 40-50. Anyone with the diabetes risk factors; obesity, family history of diabetes or high-risk ethnicity, should be screened at an earlier age. The high-risk ethnicities are Hispanics, Native Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Pacific Islanders and South Asians. Anyone with these ancestries should be screened for diabetes at an early age and should be screened often.

Preventing diabetes can be done. If you live a healthy life by eating the proper foods, keeping your body weight at an ideal number, not smoking and avoiding alcohol excessively then diabetes shouldn’t be a problem unless it is in your family history. An increased amount of physical activity will help with maintaining a proper body weight as well as help to fight off any signs of diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that does not have a cure; yet. Doctors will emphasize proper care and medical attention for diabetes patients to avoid short term and long term chronic problems like the ones listed above. Strokes of the ischemic type can also be caused by chronic diabetes. Pay attention to your doctor, use insulin when needed, keep a level blood pressure, eat healthy and maintain a normal body weight for a specified height and diabetes shouldn’t be a factor in your life.

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Understanding All About Diabetes Recommended Resources:

Harvard School of Public Health

Joslin Diabetes Center