With obesity levels being at an all-time high, the epidemic of type 2 diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, and will only get worse. Between 2001 and 2002, the diagnosis of diabetes went from 5.5 percent of Americans to an alarming 6.5 percent. In just one year!
Overall, twelve million Americans have been diagnosed and another 5 million Americans have diabetes and don’t know and yet another 12 million are on their way to type 2 diabetes because of impaired glucose levels.
Not knowing is the worst because risks of untreated diabetes put us at a terrible risk of complications including but not limited to blindness, amputations and ultimately death. The stickler is, that type 2 diabetes is almost completely preventable. Doctors say eat less, eat better and exercise. The numbers show just how many Americans are currently overweight.
Statistically, people are now living longer, and it has been on the rise for years. But this will not continue if type 2 diabetes is not put under control. We are a gluttonous society and ultimately it is affecting how we live and how long we live. And unfortunately, the diabetes epidemic is not just a US problem. It is spreading worldwide with epidemic reports in Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of diabetics worldwide will rise to 380 million. And diabetes is now affecting more of the young and middle-aged population in developing countries between the ages of 40 and 59.
Diabetes is a growing problem Worldwide. With the population at an all-time high in weight gain and low in health care, the problem is only growing.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease of the metabolism. Our metabolism is what the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth. Most food that is processed through our bodies is broken down by digestive juices into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the fuel our bodies run on.
When we eat, and our food is processed, the pancreas is supposed to produce the right amount of glucose from our blood automatically and release the right amount of insulin into our blood. In people with diabetes, little to no insulin is produced or the body’s cells don’t respond correctly to the insulin that is produced. Therefore, the glucose builds up and overflows into the urine and passes out of the body. This is how the body loses its main source of fuel even though the bloodstream contains good amounts of the natural glucose.
There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. People who have type 1 are known as insulin-dependent. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s natural system is fighting against another part of the body. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the system attacks the insulin-producing cells and destroys them. Therefore, the pancreas can produce little to no insulin. These people are in need of daily injections of insulin to live. Five to ten percent of diabetes cases are type 1 in the US.
Diabetes Mellitus is also simply known as diabetes. It is the disease characterized by a malfunctioning metabolism and a high blood sugar level. The result can be low levels of insulin or abnormal insulin resistance. This mixed with inadequate levels of insulin secretion results in diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes mellitus include increased urine production, excessive thirst, extreme fatigue, and excessive thirst and weight loss. These symptoms though may not be present in those people with only mildly elevated sugar levels.
Diabetes mellitus includes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, which occur only during pregnancy. Each type has a different cause and different severity of symptoms.
But all forms of diabetes are dangerous if not treated. With proper management though, people with diabetes can live a long, healthy, normal life.
The main cause of type 1 diabetes mellitus is the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This ultimately leads to insulin deficiency. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is typically found in children and young adults. It is also termed juvenile diabetes.
The common treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus is daily insulin injections to replace the insulin the body is not producing properly, along with careful blood glucose monitoring. Without careful monitoring and treatment, complications from diabetes could include loss of limbs such as arms, legs and feet, blindness and diabetic comas, which can be fatal.
It is extremely important that if you suspect you or your child to have symptoms of diabetes, that you visit your doctor to be tested. If the tests are positive, it is not the end of the world. With careful monitoring and care, type 1 diabetics can live long healthy lives.
All too often we get sick but ignore the symptoms we may be feeling, shrugging them off to a cold, stress from work, or just not feeling well.
There are certain symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored if they develop. These symptoms could lead to blindness, amputation of limbs, coma or even death.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often come on suddenly and are severely dramatic. The extra stress of diabetes can lead to something called diabetic ketoacidosis.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis may include nausea and vomiting, which may also lead to dehydration and serious problems with the blood levels of potassium. This could lead to a diabetic coma and ultimately death.
Other symptoms of diabetes may include extreme fatigue. We all get tired at times, but diabetes triggers a more severe fatigue than normal. People with diabetes also experience unexplained weight loss. This is because they are unable to process many of the calories they consume. Losing sugar and water in the urine also contributes to the weight loss. Extreme thirst is another symptom of diabetes. Diabetes develops high blood sugar levels and the body tries to compensate by diluting the blood, which translates to our brain that we are thirsty. With this is also excessive urination. It is another way our bodies have of getting rid of the extra sugar in our system. But this can also lead to dehydration.
One of the hardest symptoms to deal with is poor wound healing. Wounds heal slowly, if at all when the carrier has diabetes. This along with infections that are not easily remedied can attribute to ulcers and loss of limbs.
Diabetes in Children
Diabetes in children is also known as juvenile diabetes, but more commonly known as type 1 diabetes. It is the most common form of diabetes in children with ninety to ninety-five percent of carriers being under 16.
Juvenile diabetes is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the bodies own defense system attacks the body’s tissues or organs.
In the last 30 years the number of juvenile diabetes had increased three times over and in Europe and the US we are now seeing type 2 diabetes in children for the first time.
Obesity easily explains type 2, but not why there is such a rise in type 1 diabetes in children. It is believed that a mixture of genetics and environmental factors are what triggers juvenile diabetes. But the majority of children don’t have a family history of diabetes.
The symptoms for juvenile diabetes are the same as in adults. Thirst, weight loss, fatigue, frequent urination is typical, but diabetes in children can also increase stomach pains, headaches and behavior problems.
Doctors should consider the possibility of diabetes in children who have unexplained stomach pains for a few weeks, along with the typical symptoms.
If you believe your child may be experiencing these symptoms you should schedule them for a thorough examination and tell your doctor what you suspect your child may have. Be sure to tell them about any and all symptoms your child may be experiencing.
Diabetes in Pets
It is not only the human kind that can develop diabetes. Even our beloved pets, no matter how well we care for them, can develop diabetes.
This is often a scary situation for the pet owner and the first question that is usually asked of the veterinarian is -will my pet need to be put to sleep-
Of course, this is a difficult issue and the answer may vary on the overall age and health of your pet.
Many older pets that are diagnosed with diabetes go on to live many happier years, but this takes commitment and close care of your pet.
Diabetic cats and dogs can live just as long as a perfectly healthy pet if the diabetes is diagnosed and treated properly by both the veterinarian and the owner. This takes great commitment from the owner. Pets must be cared for and watched daily with a high level of care and patience.
There can be no feeding the cat and forgetting until the next day. There is no leaving the pet along to go on a trip. Every day your pet will need medication, fed a proper diet and his behavior will need to be monitored closely.
This doesn’t mean you will have to give up your job and stay home full time with your pet, but it does mean you will have to pay more attention to what his behavior is and know what to do if the situation should change.
It is also more of a financial obligation to have a sick pet. So it is something that should be discussed in length with your vet.
As of 2017, there is no cure for either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This may seem like a dim outlook for many people, but the fact is that even though there is no cure, there certainly are ways to manage your diabetes.
Proper management can give you many years of healthy living. Diabetes management starts with a visit to your doctor. First, finding out you have diabetes, what type you have then arm yourself with as much information as possible about the type of diabetes you are diagnosed with.
All management begins with controlling the glucose cycle. The glucose cycle is affected by two factors, entry of glucose into the bloodstream and blood levels of insulin to control the transport out. Your glucose levels are very sensitive to both diet and exercise, so a change in either should first be discussed with your physician. Proper management of diabetes can be very intrusive to the patient.
Proper management requires a complete lifestyle change and frequent, sometimes multi-daily checks of glucose in the blood. It can change as people grow and develop and no two cases are ever really the same. Today it is easier to measure the blood sugar level.
Glucose meters are readily available and are quite easy to use with a little practice and patience. With a small drop of blood to the testing strip attached to the glucose meter, the user is given the number, which represents their blood sugar level. This, in turn, will let the user knows if and when insulin is needed.