A Closer Look At Diabetes
Diabetes was recently described as 'an epidemic of modern times' by Austrian
Health Minister Maria Rauch-Kallat and Deputy WHO General Director Catherine
LaGales-Camus. Diabetes can best be described as a medical disorder characterized
by varying or persistent high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) resulting from
the defective secretion or action of the hormone insulin.
Types of Diabetes
There are two predominant forms of diabetes - Type 1 diabetes and Type 2
diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (previously called juvenile onset diabetes) is characterized
by decreased or non-existent production of insulin by the body. Type 2 diabetes
(previously called adult onset diabetes), is the more common form, and is typically
characterized by body tissue resistance to insulin action, though decreased
secretion of insulin can also occur.
Symptons of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes almost always has a slow onset (often years), but, in type 1,
particularly in children, onset may be quite rapid (weeks or months). Early
symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often polyuria (frequent urination) and polydipsia
(increased thirst, and consequent increased fluid intake). There may also be
weight loss (despite normal or increased eating), increased appetite, and irreducible
fatigue. These symptoms may also manifest in type 2 diabetes in patients whose
diabetes is poorly controlled. Another common-presenting symptom is altered
vision. Prolonged high blood glucose causes changes in the shape of the lens
in the eye, thus leading to blurred vision. Especially-dangerous symptoms in
diabetics include the smell of acetone on the patient's breath (a sign of ketoacidosis),
Kussmaul breathing (a rapid, deep breathing), and any altered state of consciousness
or arousal (hostility and mania are both possible, as is confusion and lethargy).
Diabetes is a chronic disease with treatment options, but no known cure (as
of April, 2006). The long-term treatment and control of diabetes in general
(both types I and II) includes patient education, nutritional support, self
glucose monitoring, as well as long-term glycemic control. A scrupulous control
is needed to help reduce the risk of long term complications. In addition, given
the associated higher risks of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle modifications
must be implemented to control blood pressure and cholesterol by exercising
more, smoking cessation, and consuming an appropriate diet.
Coming Soon - Options & Details For:
- Diabetic Test Kits
- Diabetes Recipes
- Diabetic Supplies.
Diabetes in the News
News search for Diabetes
Diabetes @ Wikipedia
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