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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease where we pancreas can not produce insulin (blood sugar-regulating hormone) or not enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly. Therefore, the excess will cause our blood sugar levels.

Alternative names

Noninsulin-dependent diabetes; Diabetes - type 2; Adult-onset diabetes

Types of Diabetes

  • Type 1 Diabetes - In type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, the bodyís immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90% of all cases of diabetes.
    Type 2 Diabetes - Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes accounting for 90%-95% of people with diabetes. Itís been seen more in children with diabetes too. How can too much insulin (insulin resistant) result in this disease?
  • Gestational Diabetes (GDM) - Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and affects about 4% of all pregnancies. It increases complications for mother and baby.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent thirsty
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired
  • Blurred eye vision
  • Too much hungry than usual
  • Unusual sudden weight loss
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Losing sense or tingling in feet
  • Sores heals very slowly

Causes, and risk factors of Diabetes

The exact causes of Diabetes are still unknown. However, heredity, obesity and lack of exercise may play a role. Here are some general risk factors:

  • Your siblings or parents have diabetes.
  • You are more than 20% overweight.
  • You do not exercise.
  • You have had gestational diabetes or you have had a baby over 9 lbs.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • Your cholesterol level is not normal.

Treatment for Diabetes

As symptoms of diabetes tend to show up much later than the condition occurs in your body, it is advisable to have your blood sugar levels diagnosed periodically.

Even if there are natural remedies that have been developed for the treatment for diabetes, insulin injections and implantable insulin pumps are the most sought out ones. Type 1 diabetes can be treated with exercise, insulin and a balanced diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with weight reduction, a diabetic diet and exercise. Weight reduction and exercising increases the bodyís sensitivity to insulin, thus controlling blood sugar elevations.

When these methods fail to lower the blood sugar levels, oral medications are used. If oral diabetes medications are insufficient and do not help lower the glucose levels in blood, insulin treatment is used.

Complications of Diabetes

  • Diabetic retinopathy shows symptoms of pain in the eyes and may even result in loss of vision.
  • Renal (kidney) disease shows symptoms of swelling (edema) in the feet and legs. It then passes over total body and as the disease progresses, blood pressure also increases.
  • Tingling, burning, numbness, tightness, shooting or stabbing pain in the hands, feet or other parts of your body, especially at night. Digestive problems also occur if, the nerves controlling internal organs get damaged (autonomic neuropathy).
  • You may have scanty or profuse sweating, difficulty of sensing when your bladder is full, when there is a low blood sugar, increased sexual problems, weakness, dizziness, and fainting.
  • Chest pain (angina) or shortness of breath dizziness or light headache, shoulder or stomach pain, fast heartbeat. You might not show any symptoms until having a heart attack or stroke.

When alarming symptoms given by the body are ignored and the same status is maintained, it starts damaging body organs, such as heart, kidney, eye, feet, and skin. The physiology for each and every affected organ is explained one by one.

Prevention of Diabetes

There is no foolproof way to prevent diabetes, but steps can be taken to improve the chances of avoiding it:

Exercise. Studies of both men and women have shown that vigorous exercise, even if done only once a week, has a protective effect against diabetes. Exercise not only promotes weight loss but lowers blood sugar as well.

Lose weight. There is evidence that both men and women who gain weight in adulthood increase their risk of diabetes. A study conducted at Harvard showed that adult women who gained 11 to 17 pounds since the age of 18 doubled their risk of diabetes; those who gained between 18 and 24 pounds almost tripled their risk. Fact: 90 percent of diabetics are overweight.

Diet. The use of a diet low in calories and in saturated fat is an ideal strategy for preventing Type II diabetes.

Stop smoking. Smoking is especially dangerous for people with diabetes who are at risk for heart and blood vessel diseases.

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