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Diabetes Information

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Diabetes is a chronic (life-long) condition characterized by inefficient way of handling glucose or sugar in the blood. However, diabetes is not a disease of blood glucose rather a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a metabolism disorder; the way your bodies use digested food for energy. Most food we eat is broken down into glucose; it is the principal source of fuel for your body.

Immediately after the digestion of food, the glucose enters your bloodstream. Your cells use this glucose for energy. However, glucose cannot consume by your cells without the presence of insulin; insulin makes your cells to consume glucose.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. After eating, the pancreas automatically releases enough insulin to move the blood glucose into the cells, as soon as glucose enters the cells blood-glucose drops back.

Diabetes is a condition with a high blood sugar caused by improper glucose metabolism.

A person with diabetes after eating his/her blood glucose elevates too much (hyperglycemia). Because the body does not produce enough insulin, no insulin, or cells not responding properly to the insulin. It results in elevated glucose level in the blood. Even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells not able to get essential fuel for energy.

Why is Diabetes Mellitus called so?

The term diabetes is from the Greek word diabaineine refers a tubular organ that take-in or expels water - excessive urine discharges disease.

In 1675, Thomas Willis added Mellitus (means “honey” in Latin) to the word diabetes and called it as Diabetes Mellitus, which refers to too much of sweet tasting urine.

Matthew Dobson in 1776 confirmed that diabetic’s urine and blood have excess sugar that contributes to its sweet taste.

History of Diabetes

Ancient diabetes diagnosis – Ancient Indians diagnose diabetes by watching whether ants got attracted towards the urine, and they refer diabetes as sweet urine diseases. Also, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese called in the same manner.

Role of the Pancreas in Diabetes – In 1889 Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski discovered the role of the pancreas in diabetes after they found that, a dog whose pancreas cut removed causes diabetes symptoms and died later.

Insulin produced by Pancreas - In 1910 Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer confirmed that a shortage of chemical produced by the pancreas is behind the cause of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day – Banting successfully purified hormone insulin from the bovine pancreas and first effective treatment was on 1922. Banting receives the Nobel Prize in 1923 for this remarkable achievement and honored by celebrating World Diabetes Day on his birthday that is November 14.

Distinction between diabetes types - Sir Harold Percival (Harry) Himsworth, first confirms type 1 and type 2, and it was in 1936 publications.

Diabetes Facts

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic (long-term) condition characterized by high blood sugar levels due to a problem with the insulin production and way of handling it. There are three main types of diabetes; they are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Worldwide Diabetes Epidemic! Act now to STOP Diabetes.

As of 2016, 422 million people have diabetes worldwide, increased from an estimated 382 million people in 2013 and 108 million in 1980. Globally the diabetes prevalence among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014.

The WHO estimates diabetes resulted in 1.5 million deaths in 2012 (8th leading cause of death). Another 2.2 million deaths attributed to high blood sugar complications. In 2014, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated diabetes resulted in 4.9 million deaths worldwide.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a condition characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. Thus, patients with type 1 diabetes require taking insulin shots for the rest of their life. Their inability to produce insulin is most probably due to your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the pancreatic beta cell that produces insulin. Only about 10% of all diabetes is type 1.  Type 1 diabetes also referred as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by body’s inability to produce enough insulin or body cells not respond properly to the insulin (called insulin resistance). Latest knowledge shows it is a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling that develops over a long time. About 90% of all diabetes are type 2. Some people find success in controlling their blood glucose by healthily changing their lifestyle. The biggest concern is more than half of those with type 2 diabetes having the condition unknowingly.

Diabetes type 2 is both insulin and leptin disorder: Leptin is a fat cells hormone called satiety hormone, which regulates your appetite and body weight. It tells your brain when & how much to eat and when to stop eating. When you become leptin resistant, it is easier for you to gain weight rapidly. Leptin is responsible for the proper insulin signaling, and thus any defect may lead to insulin resistance. Ultimately, diabetes type 2 is both insulin and leptin malfunctioning.

What is pre-diabetes?

Almost all patients with type 2 diabetes initially had pre-diabetes. Disorder of insulin and leptin signaling develops over a long time; first into pre-diabetes then to full-blown diabetes. Blood glucose levels of pre-diabetes are higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose as diabetes. Adopting to a healthy lifestyle can help reverse pre-diabetes and stop the development of full-blown diabetes.

What is gestational diabetes?

Diabetes develops during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Mostly, it goes away after delivery. However, those who had gestational diabetes have greater chance to develop type 2 diabetes later in their life. Many time diabetes diagnosis during pregnancy is actually type 2, not gestational diabetes. Most gestational diabetes can control their blood glucose with exercise and diet, only 10 to 20% of them require medication. Undiagnosed gestational diabetes leads to a complication during delivery, mostly baby bigger than it should be.

Is there any other diabetes types?

Other types of diabetes that is less common include monogenic diabetes that is inherited and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

What are the common symptoms of diabetes?

The most common diabetes symptoms are frequent urination, intense thirst, and persistent hunger. Are you concern about you or your loved once good health? If yes, then you should learn about the symptoms of diabetes type 2 and type 2 risk factors.

Those who are at risk for type 1 diabetes should know the type 1 diabetes symptoms and learn how to prevent type 1 diabetes triggers.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

How to determine whether you have diabetes or not? Diagnosis of diabetes is by three different ways; they are: HbA1C, FPG (Fasting Plasma Glucose) test, and OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test).

How to manage type 1 diabetes?

Diabetes type 1 is a lifelong condition; you need to manage your blood sugar near or within normal range without hypoglycemia episode. Type 1 requires insulin therapy for rest of their life with insulin injection, insulin pen, or an insulin pump. They also need to monitor blood glucose level regularly (3 to 6 times per day) and by following a healthy lifestyle (nutritious diet and be physically active).

How to manage type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition, its management should concentrate on keeping blood sugar as close to normal range as possible without causing low blood sugar. You can achieve this with a healthy diet, exercise, weight loss, and finally if all failed then include medications (sometimes insulin injections may require).

Is type 2 diabetes reversible?

Your body produces enough insulin but is unable to recognize and use it properly, considered as an advanced stage of insulin resistance. Type 2 Diabetes is virtually reversible.

How do you prevent diabetes?

Simple changes in your lifestyle in a healthy way by maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and be physically active have been shown effective in delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes.

Alternative medicine (Natural treatment) useful for Diabetes.

Some commonly used alternative natural treatments for diabetes are Herbs, Homeopathic remedies, Yoga, Acupressure, and Reflexology.

Diabetes complications

You know, badly managed diabetes lead to numerous diabetes (health) complications!

Over time, badly managed blood glucose level can damage your blood vessels, heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The most common diabetes complications are heart attack & stroke, retinopathy, nephropathy, gastroparesis, erectile dysfunction, bladder control problems, urinary tract infections, depression, foot problems, skin disorders, hearing loss, gum disease, infections, and cuts/lesions take longer to heal.

However, if you are managing your blood glucose level within or near-normal range, then your chance to develop these complications is almost nil.

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