Diabetes is a metabolic disease, with characteristics that include glucose problems. Typically the body produces too much blood sugar, commonly called glucose. In a healthy body, glucose is controlled by naturally produced insulin, adjusting as necessary to the consumption of or absence of food. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the pancreas. In patients with diabetes, insulin is not produced or is insufficiently produced causing hyperglycemia.
The most prominent symptom of the onset of diabetes is a very high level of thirst accompanied by a very high level of urine output. An increase in appetite is normal, and despite this increase in appetite, many diabetes victims pre-diagnosis suffer weight loss. Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, vaginal infections, skin infections, bladder infections, lethargy, and coma are all relative symptoms of undiagnosed or untreated diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by the lack of insulin production, insufficient insulin production, or the body’s inability to use insulin effectively. Diabetes is known to have both genetic and dietary links, although people without familial history, genetic factors, or dietary risk factors have been known to develop diabetes.
DIABETES RISK FACTOR
Risk factors for diabetes include dietary issues, such as diets high in sugars, carbohydrates and fats, although dietary issues need to be excessively high in most cases. Family history often means that someone may be genetically predisposed to developing diabetes. Obesity can often be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Except in emergency cases, diabetes is often diagnosed with a set of fasting glucose tests. Most physicians perform the test two or three times. The patient fasts for at least eight hours and then is subject to a quick blood test. The blood test reveals glucose levels in the blood. A patient with glucose levels as high as 126 milligrams per deciliter for two or more tests can be diagnosed with diabetes if they are symptomatic. Normal fasting glucose levels are about 100 milligrams per deciliter. A random glucose test that shows 200 milligrams per deciliter without fasting is indicative of diabetes.
DIABETES SIDE EFFECTS
Patients who have experienced the onset of diabetes but have not received medical help are at risk for serious complications of which include insulin shock, coma, or even death. Patients who are diabetic are also likely to experience complications especially if there is any lapse in treatment. These include retinal scarring or retinal detachment which can lead to vision problems or blindness, as well as the development of cataracts or glaucoma. Kidney damage and nerve damage, especially ischemia, are possible complication associated with diabetic patients, as well as erectile dysfunction, loss of one or both legs, and gastroparesis.
Diabetes can often be treated through diet. Type 2 diabetes is typically treated first with diet, exercise, and weight loss before any other treatment method is approached. There are oral medications that can help regulate the pancreas and the abilities to develop and use insulin correctly, but most physicians have found that rigorous retraining of the patient’s health habits have a high enough impact on diabetes patients.
Type 1 diabetes patients are also placed on a special diet to help their body avoid specific diabetic symptoms and likelihoods that are associated with diabetes, but are typically required to take oral diabetic medications and often use injections of insulin directly into the muscle tissue. Insulin injections are able to regulate the body and allow the body to use the injected insulin as it would naturally produced insulin. Researchers are considering the possibility of introducing pancreas transplants as a future alternative for diabetic patients in the future.
Regardless of treatment options, patients with diabetes still require dietary consideration, daily exercise, and a regimen of self care that allows for the highest health possible. The healthier the lifestyle of a diabetic patient the less likely the patient is to experience complications that can be brought about by diabetes.
Coping with diabetes means taking the medications and educating the self as much as possible about the chronic new developments that researchers are able to release. Researchers are actively seeking new solutions to diabetes, and the more informed the patient is, the greater the chance the research will positively impact the life of that diabetic patient. Diabetes is a life long illness and requires constant vigilance in order to remain healthy.
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