What is diabetes? Diabetes is a medical condition that affects every organ of the body, including kidneys, heart and blood vessels. There is Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes. With diabetes, the body is not able to properly use or produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for converting starches, sugar, and food into energy. It is unknown what brings diabetes on, and there is no known cure. Once a person has diabetes, the only course of action is to attempt to control the disease and the symptoms
It is estimated that more than 25 million people in the United States have diabetes. That is over 8% of the population. Of those 25 million, over 7 million do not know they have it. Another 79 million are pre-diabetic.
Diabetes is the number one cause of renal disease, and a leading cause of kidney disease.
Type I Diabetes
Type I Diabetes is commonly called juvenile onset diabetes. It will affect as many as 1 out of each 250 people in the US. Although the word juvenile is in the name, Type I diabetes can occur at any time, and will crop up equally in males and females.
Symptoms for this disease can be very subtle at the onset, and then can become very severe. It will commonly present with blurry vision, dry mouth, nausea, tingling in the extremities, and frequent urination. Serious signs include, unconsciousness, stomach pains, sweet fruity breath, shaking, and trembling.
Researchers are still not sure why Type I occurs, but do know that it has a genetic factor. If you have family members in your history with Type I diabetes, you should be aware of the signs for yourself and your children.
To determine if a person has Type I diabetes, they need to get a blood check of their glucose levels. A test for sugar in the urine is also performed.
Many people of all ages enjoy long active lives. However, it is important to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. This is usually done by eating the right foods, maintaining an exercise program, and having an insulin therapy program. With diabetes Type I, the person will need insulin injections to keep up their glucose level, while testing regularly.
Without treatment, this condition may turn into a serious, even life threatening, condition. Kidney disease is common. Other problems include loss of vision, decreased blood circulation, stomach problems and nerve damage.
Juvenile onset diabetes is a serious condition, but one that can be managed with proper medical care and a careful lifestyle.
Type II Diabetes
Type II is the more common type of diabetes, by a factor of 9 to 1. Symptoms might include hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, increased urination and sexual impotence. Type II usually presents in adults. Reasons will include genetics and obesity.
One of the best ways to control Type II is to maintain a proper diet and to begin an exercise program. Controlling a person’s weight is the best way to control Type II diabetes. Many times, getting weight under control will cut diabetes completely. Exercising helps to control weight, and helps the body to use insulin.
If diet and exercise changes are not put into place, or if they do not bring the diabetes under control, then medication will be necessary. The doctor may may prescribe a variety of oral medications. In some cases the patient with Type II diabetes may need to take insulin also.
Whichever form of this disease, whether Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes, a person has, they must institute serious changes in their life to get it under control. With measures in place, a person should be able to live a long healthy life.