Diabetes: The New Epidemic of the World
Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. It is the most common disorder of the endocrine system. Diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels consistently are above normal.
There are three types of diabetes. There is type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
In our country, 79 million people over the age of 20 have elevated blood sugar levels. However, those levels are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. This condition is known as prediabetes. It is almost always present before a person develops type 2 diabetes. Complications can develop from this condition even without getting full-blown diabetes.
Once you get type 2 diabetes, you may get the following symptoms:
- unusual thirst
- frequent need to urinate
- blurred vision
- extreme fatigue
By being aware of your prediabetes, you may be able to prevent full-blown diabetes by taking action. In turn, you may be able to lower the risk of complications, such as heart disease.
Type 1 Diabetes
This form of the disease happens when the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. People with this form of diabetes produce no insulin and must take insulin shots to control blood sugar. This type of diabetes usually
starts in people under the age of 20. However, it can occur at any age as well.
Type 2 Diabetes
In the type 2 form of diabetes, the body still produces insulin. However, it does not produce enough for the body’s needs. Also, the body may not recognize the insulin and doesn’t use it properly. Since the insulin is ineffective, glucose builds up in the blood. If you are overweight, then you have a higher chance of getting this disorder.
Hormone changes that occur during pregnancy may affect the ability of insulin to work properly. This condition is known as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes, if left untreated, can result in complications to both the mother and the child. Usually, the problem will clear up within six weeks of childbirth.
Other Symptoms of Diabetes
Other symptoms of diabetes may include:
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itchy skin
- Yeast infections
- Recent weight gain
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Erectile dysfunction
Treatment of Diabetes
The goal of treating diabetes is to keep blood sugar controlled. This means that your sugar should not be too high or too low. This can be achieved many times by maintaining a good diabetic diet and getting plenty of exercise. A diabetic diet consists of a concentration of proteins with a decrease of simple carbohydrates.
Many times, in addition to diet and exercise, medication must be added. In lighter cases, this will take the form of pills. In more severe cases, insulin must be prescribed.
One of the complications of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. This happens when your nerves get damaged in your feet, ankles, and hands. Neuropathy feels like burning, pins and needles, or itching.
While diabetes is fast becoming an epidemic in the United States, you can many times prevent its onset by taking care of yourself properly. This includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.