What is diabetes?

November 12, 2012

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that impacts upon infants, children, young people and adults of all ages, and is becoming more common. Diabetes is not one disorder, it is actually a group of disorders which although caused by different factors have one common aspect, they all have raised blood glucose levels.

This is because of a lack of the hormone insulin or the body’s inability to respond to insulin. The body, to operate normally must be able to process glucose. Put simply the glucose is then transformed into energy. Insulin in the blood is the hormone which ensures that the glucose obtained from food can be used by the body.

The organ responsible for this transformation is the pancreas. Under normal circumstances it produces the hormone insulin. The role of insulin is to get the glucose out of the blood and into the cells where it can be used to produce energy and growth in a body. With diabetes this does not occur or does not occur effectively.

Day-to-day control of diabetes

The United States is fairly typical of Western countries and has 8 people in every 100 with diabetes. That’s over 23 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

. Unmanaged diabetes can be a killer. Internal organs suffer through prolonged exposure to high levels of glucose in the blood. This condition is known as hyperglycemia and can easily be managed to remove the risks associated with diabetes.

D

iabetes comes in three forms, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin causes Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable in many cases and is the most common form of diabetes. It is also known as adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In this case there is still insulin being produced but in insufficient amounts or the body has become unresponsive to its effects.

Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. Because the woman’s body generates many more hormones during pregnancy they can have the effect of making the body more resistant to insulin, even though the pancreas is working normally and producing insulin.

When dealing with diabetes

a change in blood sugar levels can occur quickly and easily lead to a possible life threatening situation. All symptoms related to diabetes must be treated seriously. These symptoms can include increased thirst, wanting to urinate more often, vomiting, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, confusion, sweating, feeling shaky or faint, the patient may be in a bad temper or exhibit belligerent behavior.

If you

are a diabetes sufferer and have symptoms indicating high or low blood sugar, then test your blood sugar and adhere to your treatment plan based on the test results. If you do not begin to feel better then get immediate help.

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