What is Diabetes? Anna Betancourt
As much as we hear about the disease “Diabetes”, there is still much confusion and erroneous information about this chronic disease which affects a large portion of the population. It is related to heredity, diet and lifestyle. However, there are treatments to improve health and outcome for everyone. The following is a quick and concise definition of what is going on. Check this link: http://www.webmd.com/control-diabetes/what-is-diabetes, also the American Diabetes Association at http://www.diabetes.org
People with diabetes do not have enough insulin in their body to control their blood sugar, or their insulin isn’t used the way it should be. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells of the body take up blood sugar, which is used for fuel. When there is not enough insulin in the body, parts of the body can’t use blood sugar for energy. In addition, blood sugar builds up in the blood. This can lead to high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, for people who have diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, once called juvenile diabetes, is diagnosed during childhood through adulthood. Only 5% to 10% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects both children and adults.
People with diabetes may have some or all of these symptoms:
They may also have problems with:
Infections of the skin, gum, or bladder
Scrapes or bruises healing slower than usual
Tingling or numbness in the limbs
What Are the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes?
Your family history is a strong risk factor for diabetes. Other factors that may increase someone’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes include older age, being overweight, or having a lifestyle that doesn’t include physical activity.
When people are first diagnosed with diabetes, they are given a diabetes-friendly diet and exercise plan, and then prescribed a diabetes pill or an injectable medication.
Diabetes is a progressive condition that changes over time. Over time, you may need different treatments to help control your blood sugar. So, even if you have been managing your diabetes well with diet, exercise, and oral medication, you may need insulin therapy at some point in your life.
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