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What is Diabetes by Nancy Bone

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More and more people today are being diagnosed with Diabetes. Through modern medicine, diabetes has been separated into three major types, Pre-diabetes, Type I Diabetes, and Type II Diabetes.

First, let’s start with “What is diabetes?” Diabetes is a condition in which the body, specifically the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin for the body to process blood sugar also known as blood glucose, and turn it into energy for one’s body. Blood sugar is important for the body to provide fuel to muscles and tissue and help with brain function. Too little blood sugar and the body cannot function properly due to lack of energy. Too much blood sugar and you can end up with serious health problems if left untreated.

Pre-diabetes is when the blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for someone to be considered a true diabetic. Damage to the heart and blood vessels may have begun, but since the disease is in the early stage it is possible to delay its advancement or even reverse it completely. According to data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet there are 79 million people with pre-diabetes. Most people are unaware they have this condition until they go in for a routine physical or they develop symptoms and through a simple blood test they are diagnosed.

Type I Diabetes also known as Juvenile Diabetes was once thought to originate during childhood, however, a person at any age can develop this disease. Common causes include genetics and some viruses. Some symptoms of Type I Diabetes are extreme thirst and having to urinate often. The cause of this is due to sugar which is not processing the way it should and it is building up in the blood stream. This in turn pulls fluid out of the body tissue making the person thirstier, therefore causing them to urinate more.

Another symptom is being overly hungry, even if you just ate. Once again since the body is not able to get the sugar into the cells of the muscles and tissues it is basically starving itself. This can lead to weight loss even if you are eating more than normal for your size. Since you are not getting the proper nutrition to your body you may also become easily tired.

If you experience any of these symptoms it would be a good idea to seek medical advice. Eye problems are common with this disease therefore it is recommended yearly eye exams and some special testing be done to preserve a person’s vision. People who are diagnosed with Type I Diabetes must use insulin to control their disease. Insulin can be given either by injecting one’s self or using an insulin pump. These options are to be discussed between you and your physician based on your needs.

Type II Diabetes is probably the most common form of this disease.  It is not insulin dependent and was thought to be an adult disease but research has found it does not have an age barrier. Just as with Type I, Type II Diabetes is incurable. Complications of diabetes can affect the entire body. It can cause damage to vessels which in turn will affect any part of one’s body that the blood flows through which is everywhere. All the major organs can be damaged by too little or too much blood sugar. That is not to say it cannot be controlled or even prevented entirely. The symptoms with all forms of diabetes are pretty much the same, but with proper exercise of even thirty minutes a day healthy eating, and weight loss along with taking your medication regularly, this disease can be controlled. People are able to lead long productive lives due to increased awareness and proper treatment.



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