Diabetes : Plain Talk About The Basics
Diabetes is basically a disease that interferes with the ability of our bodies to use food for energy and growth. One thing that happens when we digest food is that some of it is converted into glucose (sugar) that goes into our blood stream for energy and growth. Diabetes' primary effect is that our blood sugar glucose levels can get high. You've heard of insulin, right?
Your pancreas produces insulin. Well, insulin is the hormone that gets the glucose (fuel) into our cells to help create energy. If your body isn't making enough insulin or using it correctly to help this fueling process, sugar starts to get backed up in your blood. That is not good.
Some symptoms to watch out for if you suspect diabetes are: a loss in weight, and an increase in appetite. Feeling very thirsty and having to urinate frequently, blurred vision, numbness in hands, feet, arms and legs can also be early indicators of a problem. When diabetes is caught early there are usually much better outcomes than when it is ignored. If you suspect any possibility, please see a doctor right away.
Government statistics show diabetes as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There is a long list of complications associated with diabetes such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and blood circulation problems.
Early symptoms of diabetes may not seem too severe, or so far out of the ordinary to cause worry. That's a problem. Most people ignore warnings and just hope it goes away. The sad thing is that catching it early and taking action can prevent the more serious complications of diabetes down the road.
About 95% of all cases of diabetes fall into three different types: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is also called early onset, or juvenile diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Government statistics state that Type 1 diabetes may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. This develops when the body's immune system starts attacking and preventing cells in the pancreas from producing insulin.
Gestational diabetes is body intolerance for glucose that can develop in pregnant women. It is very important to be tested and treated for diabetes not only for mom. but for the baby's sake also. Though gestational diabetes often passes with pregnancy, women who develop gestational diabetes are at a very significantly higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Lastly, there is Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for about 9 out of 10 cases. There is debate over whether type 2 diabetes is hereditary or not. Prevalent thinking is that Type 2 diabetes is most likely due to poor diet and being overweight. About 80% of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.
If you are overweight and not physically active, you can be at high risk for developing diabetes. If you have diabetes the best way to avoid the complications of diabetes is to alter your eating and exercise habits. A lot of the more common problems of diabetes can be avoided by staying away from sweets and sugars.
By becoming more fit through exercise and eating healthy, you can avoid aggravating or accelerating problems associated with diabetes. The worst thing you can do is ignore the changes that need to be made.
To a large extent the quality of your life living with diabetes is in your own hands.
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