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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).

Controlling Diabetes
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
Google News search for Diabetes
Diabetes @ Wikipedia
More Soon!

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