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May 2, 2012
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a quite common health condition (known also as diabetes mellitus) and a group of diseases related to impaired body’s ability to convert blood sugar (glucose) into energy. This chronic disease is linked to two factors: either our body can not utilize blood sugar properly due to its inability to produce insulin (type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes), or our body can’t use glucose because of a lack or ineffectiveness of insulin produced in the body (type 2 diabetes). Both types of diabetes mellitius are chronic medical conditions connected with increased levels of blood sugar which can be dangerous to our health and lead to very serious health problems.
According to the latest information by Diabetes UK, the nation’s leading diabetes charity organization, more than 2 million people in modern UK suffer from diabetes mellitius. At that, more than two-thirds of the total number of diabetes sufferers have type 2 diabetes, known as NIDDM, or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and it is mainly diagnosed in kids and young people. Unfortunately, for the last few decades the number of people with diabetes mellitus (especially type 2 diabetes) has been rapidly increasing. Those who want to know more and find a proper answer to the question what is diabetes should go on reading this article with a lot of interesting information about the symptoms and causes of diabetes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes?
As a rule, the symptoms of diabetes vary from one person to another. Those who suffer from type 1 diabetes usually experience quite strong and severe symptoms, and those who have type 2 diabetes can develop the symptoms quite slowly, or do not experience any kind of symptoms at all for quite a long period of time.
The most common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Too frequent urination
- Presence of ketones in urine
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Increased blood pressure
- Sudden weight loss
- Too frequent infections
- Too slow healing of wounds
- Numbness in feet and hands
- Blurred vision
- Extreme tiredness
Those people who are experiencing the mentioned symptoms of diabetes should immediately visit their health care specialist and do a blood test in order to learn their blood glucose level. Remember that the earlier diabetes mellitius is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can be started and the more effective it can be.
What Are The Causes Of Diabetes?
When talking about the causes of diabetes, it is important to understand the processes related to insulin production and utilization in the body. In those patients who suffer from type 1 diabetes the immune system attacks and kills insulin-producing cells, considerably slowing down or interrupting insulin production in the pancreas. As a result, glucose gets collected in bloodstream and creates potential risks to the person’s health. It is considered that this impairment in the immune system function can be mainly caused by environmental and genetic factors, but the exact influence of these factors has been yet unclear.
For type 2 diabetes, patients’ cells develop a strong resistance to the effects of insulin, and their pancreas can not produce enough of this hormone to overcome the situation. As a result, glucose can not move into the cells and gets collected in the bloodstream causing dangerous health conditions. Despite the fact that the causes of diabetes of this type also remain quite unclear, it is considered that being overweight is closely linked to developing this chronic disease. Besides, just like for type 1 diabetes, environmental factors and genetic predisposition are supposed to play a great role in developing type 2 diabetes.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is considered very serious chronic disease which can not be cured or reversed, but can be managed. The existing types of diabetes treatments are created to help the body control blood sugar levels, which can be achieved by using special insulin shots, insulin pumps, or certain oral medications. Those who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes should closely monitor their blood glucose levels, lead an active lifestyle and do plenty of physical activities, develop healthy eating habits (consume increased amounts of natural fiber, limit their consumption of natural and artificial sweeteners, strictly avoid overeating, etc.), monitor their blood pressure.
Those who experience the symptoms of diabetes should not delay visiting their health care specialist, especially in the case if they can be affected by the following risk factors:
- Being overweight with a large waist size
- Having a close family member suffering from diabetes mellitus
- Leading an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle.
- Being over 40.
- Having hypertension
- Having increased cholesterol levels in blood
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome.