Diabetes

Introduction

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease of the metabolic system which is characterized by the presence of excess sugar content in the blood stream. Excessive sugar in the blood is usually indicated by frequent urination and greater degrees of hunger and thirst. If diabetes is not treated on time it may cause serious health complications in the future. Diabetes could cause heart disease, stroke, eye problems and kidney failure. There are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce adequate quantities of insulin. The second type known as type 2 diabetes is caused by the body’s development of resistance to insulin thereby producing the same effect as a lack of it. This type of diabetes usually develops progressively and at later stages may also lead to shortage of insulin in the body. The third type of diabetes is associated with pregnancy in some women who have no previous record of having it. The first type of diabetes is commonly referred to as insulin dependent diabetes, the second type as juvenile diabetes while the third type is called gestational diabetes. In 2014, almost 400 million people were estimated to have diabetes with about ninety percent of the second type.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes include loss of weight, frequent or increased urination and greater thirst and hunger. One difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that symptoms may develop rapidly in the first type but more gradually in the second type. Other symptoms that are not specific to diabetes include impaired vision, fatigue, and difficulty of healing in cuts, itchy skin and skin rashes. Diabetes may lead to emergencies such as seizures, damage to the brain and even death.

Prevention of Diabetes

There is no known preventive measure for type 1 diabetes but the second type may be prevented by a combination of healthy diet, maintaining a normal body weight and having adequate exercise. It is recommended that a diet high in whole grains as well as fiber and good fats such as in nuts and fish or vegetable oil may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Also, smoking is known to increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Managing the Disease

Diabetes Mellitus has no known medical cure and so the next best option is to adequately manage the disease to mitigate its effects and prolong the lifespan of the sufferer. A combination of proper dieting, exercising and medication to maintain blood sugar levels within safe limits is the key.


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