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What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes? – A Few Facts about the Disease

Diabetes is classified as a disorder in metabolism. Metabolism is how your body processes the food that you take for energy and growth. The main source of energy for the body is the glucose. Glucose is the product of metabolism and it is a type of blood sugar.

Glucose found in the blood enters the cells in the body. However, cells cannot accept glucose without the presence of insulin. The pancreas produces the insulin to help glucose enter the cells in the body. In turn, this process reduces the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

So, how can a person have diabetes?

Since diabetes is triggered by an excess count of blood sugar, it means that glucose cannot enter the cells in the body. There may be some reasons why glucose cannot enter the cells in the body. The pancreas may not be producing enough insulin or it does not produce insulin at all. Another reason may be that several cells do not respond to accepting glucose even if there is enough insulin.

The excess glucose must be flushed out of the body. The excess glucose is excreted out of the body through urination. When this happens, the body will not be nourished since the cells are not getting the right amount of energy needed.

Three Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes. The three are briefly explained below:

*  Type 1 – The body is not producing insulin at all.

* Type 2 – The body is not producing enough insulin. It may also mean that the insulin is not properly working for the cells to receive glucose.

Gestational Diabetes – This is a type of diabetes developed during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is usually resolved after giving birth. However, the Type 1 and 2 are chronic and therefore needs serious medical attention.

Although the three types of diabetes can be treated, Type 1 and 2 may last a lifetime. There is no known cure to eliminate the Type 1 and 2 diabetes but it can be controlled.

Just like any other disease, diabetes has known symptoms. Below are the most common symptoms or signs of diabetes.

~ Frequent urination
~ Unusual thirst
~ Unusual hunger
~ Weight gain
~ Abnormal weight loss
~ Uncommon fatigue
~ Irritability
~ Blurry vision
~ Cuts not healing
~ Frequent gum disease
~ Bizarre skin itchiness

Diabetes is not a simple disease that people can just take for granted. If a person feels or experiences the symptoms mentioned above, it is advised to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment for Diabetes

Type 1 – since this type of diabetes totally deprives the body of insulin, insulin shots are given to patients with this disease. Proper diet and body work out is also administered to patients with Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 – patients with this type of diabetes are usually given tablets. Similar to Type 1 diabetes, patients are also given special diet and regular exercise. In some cases, injection of insulin is also administered.

Diabetes can cause several complications and some may be fatal. If diabetes is not treated properly, the following complications may develop:

hypoglycemia
ketoacidosis
nonketotic hypersosmolar coma

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1 Response for “What is Diabetes?”

  1. Anon Coward says:

    Some corrections:
    • Type 1 – The body is not producing insulin at all.: Many Type 1.5 patients produce insulin for 6 months – 6+ years. (The latter generally only occurs with an ultra low-carb diet.)
    • Type 1 and 2 *may* last a lifetime: To date, there is NO practicable cure for diabetes. (Pancreas transplants are not practical as a cure due to lack of availabilty and rejection problems.) Type 2 *may* be controlled with diet and exercise alone for many years. However, as their disease progresses, approx. 50% of Type 2 patients will eventually need insulin.
    • “Although the three types of diabetes can be treated, Type 1 and 2 may last a lifetime. There is no known cure to eliminate the Type 1 and 2 diabetes but it can be controlled.”: ALL forms of diabetes must be treated vigorously. The diabetic patient must think about every bite of food they consume. Untreated gestational diabetes can cause very serious problems for the unborn child.

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Posted by Jodel X on Nov 11th, 2010 and filed under Disease, Editor's Pick. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response via following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site