Diabetes Diabetes is a very serious disease that attacks millions of people around the world. It can strike at any age and can happen to anyone. Although we are not exactly sure about the causes of diabetes, we believe that it has to do with the body’s own immune system attacking and destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the glucose that we need to live, has a hard time entering the cells of the body that need it. If too much glucose builds up in the blood, then a diabetic may begin to have headaches or blurry vision. They may become very thirsty and have dry, itchy skin.

If glucose levels go too low, then a diabetic may feel shaky, tired, hungry, confused, or nervous. There are two types of diabetes. They are called Type 1 and Type 2 Some symptoms of diabetes include: excessive thirst; constant hunger; sudden weight loss for no reason; rapid, hard breathing; sudden vision changes or blurry vision; and drowsiness or exhaustion. These symptoms can occur at any time. Type 1 diabetes is more common in Americans then Type 2. It has affected over 1 million Americans with 30,000 more people diagnosed every year (13,000 of those being children).

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Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but is most commonly diagnosed during childhood. In Type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces little or no insulin, and because insulin is necessary for life, people with Type 1 diabetes must take several insulin injection shots each day for the rest of their lives. Although insulin allows a person to stay alive, it does not cure diabetes or prevent it’s complications. The blood sugar level of the diabetic must be tested several times daily. One this is done by pricking the finger with a special needle and placing the blood into a machine that will carefully read it.

This helps balance the glucose in the blood and will help determine how much insulin is needed. Diabetics need to pay careful attention to their diets, exercise, and blood sugar levels in order to stay healthy. Other factors that can affect the blood sugar levels are stressed, periods of growth, dollars for infection, and fatigue as well as their exercise and any changes in their normal schedule. Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes or, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is different than Type 1 diabetes in one major way.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does make insulin, we so it is not needed to be taken separately, but sometimes, not enough insulin is made or the cells ignore the insulin. Because of the sudden rise or fall in blood sugar levels, people with this type of diabetes must also test their blood several times daily and adjust their diets and exercise accordingly. Insulin boosting pills help this type of diabetic maintain consistent blood sugar levels. With good treatment though, insulin levels can return to normal. This, however, does not mean that you are cured.

You will always have diabetes, but normal levels shows that you are taking care of yourself. A good diet, exercise, and weight loss can help improve the body’s use of insulin. A good diet should include low-fat foods, moderate amounts of protein, and lots of foods high in complex carbohydrates, like beans, vegetables, and grains. Exercise helps the body take in glucose. Exercise also lowers glucose levels and plays a major part in treatment. Losing weight is also a major part in treatment.

It can also help the body to use insulin more efficiently. The best way to lose weight is to maintain a good exercise program and a healthy eating plan. If a healthy diet is not kept up, then life-threatening complications may arise. These life-threatening complications include: blindness; heart attack; kidney failure; stroke; nerve damage; and amputation. People with diabetes can live a normal, regular life by keeping track of their blood sugar levels.

The average life span of a diabetic is 15 years less than people that are not diabetic. This does not mean that they cannot live a normal life. If a diabetic takes care of themselves by exercising and eating right, then their life can be just as happy as anyone elses.


Diabetes Diabetes is a very grave and serious disease involving many hardships, but a good diet, exercise, and overall healthy habits can keep your diabetes under control which in-turn makes you feel better and avoid later complications. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert the sugars and starches that we eat into energy needed for daily life. The cause of the disease is a mystery, but genetics and environment seem to play major roles. There are two kinds of Diabetes, Diabetes Insipidus and the more common Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disease caused by a deficiency of vasopressin, a hormone of the posterior pituitary gland that controls the amount of urine secreted by the kidneys. It’s symptoms of extreme thirst and frequent urination can usually be stopped by injection or nasal inhalation of vasopressin. Diabetes Mellitus is a more severe and common disease affecting over five percent of the population of the United States, approximately 14 million people.

Mellitus is caused by a defective carbohydrate metabolism. The islets of Lange Hans, granular cells in the human pancreas, secrete a hormone called insulin that facilitates the blood’s sugar glucose into all the tissues of the body. In diabetics the entry of glucose is impaired due to a deficiency in insulin or a blocking of its actions caused by altered receptor cells, the cells that carry the sugar from the blood into the tissue. So sugar builds up in the blood and is excreted in urine. There are also two types of Diabetes Mellitus.

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They are Type I and Type II. Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body has a severe or total reduction in insulin production, most often occurring in children and young adults. The immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas called the islets of Lange Han that unlock the cells of the body allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. Since glucose cannot enter the cells it builds up in the blood and the body’s cells literally starve to death. Also since the body lacks sufficient energy from tissue glucose it begins to break down stored fat that produces ketenes, a byproduct of broken down fat, that makes the body’s blood acidic interfering with respiration.

About 700,000 people in the United States have Type I diabetes. Its symptoms are unusual thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, dramatic weight loss, fatigue, and irritability. If the disease is undetected or not properly treated it can quickly become fatal. Death by diabetic coma was usually the outcome of the disease before insulin was discovered. The other more common type of Diabetes is Type II, affecting more than 13.3 million people in the United States. Type II Diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body’s inability to make enough or properly use insulin.

Sometimes Type II can be due to prolonged obesity when a rise in the level of blood sugar inactivates tissue components that are targets for insulin, consequentially killing off the cells needed to transport the sugar. Type II diabetes is most prevalent in adults over forty, but most people do not recognize the disease until they develop one of it’s life threatening complications. Type II has the same symptoms as Type I including frequent infections, blurred vision, slow healing cuts and bruises, and tingling or numbness in hands or feet. Type II diabetes can be treated with oral medications, but as the person gets older and insulin production declines they may be forced to take injections. Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure.

There are many grim and sobering facts about diabetes and its complications. Of the estimated fourteen million people in the United States with diabetes more than half are not aware of it yet. Every sixty seconds a person is diagnosed with diabetes. 650,000 people will be diagnosed this year. Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death by disease in the US.

More than 160,000 people will die from diabetes and its complications this year. Many people first become aware of their diabetes when they develop one of its complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. It destroys vision by interfering with the function of the retina. The tiny blood vessels in the retina are weakened, break and start to leak blood into the eye that clouds vision.

Most people who have diabetes for longer than ten years begin to develop retinopathy. About 30,000 people will go blind from diabetes this year. Kidney disease is another complication of diabetes. Ten percent of all diabetics will develop kidney disease. Risk factors for nephropathy, damage to the kidneys, are high blood pressure and kidney and urinary tract infections. If a patient’s kidneys fail, a condition called the end stage renal disease, they will either have to undergo dialysis, a method of removing wastes from the blood, several times a week or have a kidney transplant in order to stay alive.

In addition to lack of control over blood sugar levels, many diabetics also have problems with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and fat levels. This combination leads to angioplasty, or disease of the blood vessels. Very small blood vessels, both veins and arteries, become thick and weak. Larger blood vessels start developing arterioscleroses, clogging with fat and blood clots, slowing the flow of blood. If the clots break loose and travel to the brain, a stroke can occur. If the clogged blood vessel supplies the heart, a heart attack can occur when blood circulation is interrupted. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack then normal people.

More than 77,000 diabetics die annually due to heart disease. Diabetics are also five times more likely to suffer a stroke, with more than 11,000 deaths annually. Impaired blood flow means poor circulation. Poor circulation compounded with neuropathy, nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause a cut to become infected before it is even noticed. If circulation is cut off from any part of the body too long, or if an infection is left to fester, the part becomes gangrenous and must be amputated. Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.

The risk of leg amputations is 27.7 times greater for a person with diabetes. Each year, 54,000 people lose their foot or leg to diabetes. Diabetes is not only a very tragic disease health wise but is also very costly. Health care and related costs for treatment, as well as the cost of lost productivity, run nearly $92 billion annually. Many major advancements have been made in therapy for diabetics since its earlier days that make the disease easier to live with. To control diabetes you must control blood sugar levels, keeping them as close too normal as possible.

Normal blood sugar levels are between 80 and 120 mg/dl. One advancement is the Self Blood Glucose Monitor, which allows you to check the amount of blood sugar level with just one drop of blood. This replaced Urine sugar testing because it is easier and more accurate. Blood glucose testing eliminates the confusion caused by varying kidney threshold levels. Different people spill sugar into their urine at different blood sugar levels. A person with a 300-mg/dl blood sugar level could have the same reading on the test strip as someone with a 120-mg/dl blood sugar.

Sometimes how you feel is a good indication of what your blood sugar level is. If you have a stomachache or difficulty …


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