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What Health Problems May Result If A Patient's Diabetes Is Not Properly Treated

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin when glucose starts to be released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet. Normally this insulin response triggers glucose being taken into body cells, to be used for energy, and inhibits the body from using fat for energy. The concentration of glucose in the blood decreases as a result, staying within the normal range even when a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed. When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to a high blood insulin level. This often remains undetected and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults.[1] Although this type of chronic insulin resistance is harmful, during acute illness it is actually a well-evolved protective mechanism. Recent investigations have revealed that insulin resistance helps to conserve the brain's glucose supply by preventing muscles from taking up excessive glucose.[2] In theory, insulin resistance should even be strengthened under harsh metabolic conditions such as pregnancy, during which the expanding fetal brain demands more glucose. People who develop type 2 diabetes usually pass through earlier stages of insulin resistance and prediabetes, although those often go undiagnosed. Insulin resistance is a syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) resulting from reduced insulin activity; it is also part of a larger constellation of symptoms called the metabolic syndrome. Insuli Continue reading >>

Diabetes

Diabetes

What is diabetes? Diabetes is disease that causes the body to either not produce insulin or not react properly to the insulin. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is when the body simply does not produce insulin. This type develops in teens and is less common than Type 2. When you have Type 1 diabetes, your immune system turns on the pancreas, causing it not to produce insulin. This causes blood sugar levels to get too high. People with Type 1 take insulin injections to help regulate their blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is when the cells in the body do not react properly with the insulin being produced. The signal to the GLUT4 is never sent from the receptors, so the cells don't allow glucose to enter. Insulin injections can sometimes help people with Type 2, however they usually can only watch what they eat and be careful to exercise a certain amount. How is glucose tolerance testing used to diagnose diabetes? The GTT is usually administered after an abnormal urine test. Doctors use glucose tolerance testing to monitor the amount of glucose in the patient's blood at a given moment in time and to see if their body reacts properly in response to the glucose. If the glucose levels rise drastically and don't fall back down this indicates that there is a high chance that the patient has diabetes. The insulin test can determine the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; if the levels of insulin in the blood are high, the patient has Type 2 diabetes, and if there is no insulin in the blood the patient has Type 1. How does the development of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes relate to how the body produces and uses insulin? In type one diabetes the persons immune system attacks the pancreas causing it to shut down insulin production, leaving the person wit Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens when the body either can't make insulin ( type 1 diabetes ) or can't respond to insulin properly ( type 2 diabetes ). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: All of these need to be b Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia). Here are some key points about diabetes. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels. In 2013 it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes (Williams textbook of endocrinology). Type 1 Diabetes - the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1. Type 2 Diabetes - the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type. Gestational Diabetes - this type affects females during pregnancy. The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet. If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life. Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels. As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly. As smoking might have a serious effect on c Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

When you hear the word “diabetes,” your first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood sugar is an often-underestimated component of your health. When it’s out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Here’s what symptoms may occur to your body when diabetes takes effect. Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells. To accomplish this, your pancreas needs to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it in the cells for use, or energy. If you have diabetes, your pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all. The insulin can’t be used effectively. This allows blood glucose levels to rise while the rest of your cells are deprived of much-needed energy. This can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system. The effects of diabetes on your body also depends on the type you have. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an immune system disorder. Your own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying your body’s ability to make insulin. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people are diagnosed as a child or young adult. Type 2 is related to insulin resistance. It used to occur i Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus, disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterized by impaired ability of the body to produce or respond to insulin and thereby maintain proper levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, though these outcomes are not due to the immediate effects of the disorder. They are instead related to the diseases that develop as a result of chronic diabetes mellitus. These include diseases of large blood vessels (macrovascular disease, including coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease) and small blood vessels (microvascular disease, including retinal and renal vascular disease), as well as diseases of the nerves. Causes and types Insulin is a hormone secreted by beta cells, which are located within clusters of cells in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans. Insulin’s role in the body is to trigger cells to take up glucose so that the cells can use this energy-yielding sugar. Patients with diabetes may have dysfunctional beta cells, resulting in decreased insulin secretion, or their muscle and adipose cells may be resistant to the effects of insulin, resulting in a decreased ability of these cells to take up and metabolize glucose. In both cases, the levels of glucose in the blood increase, causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). As glucose accumulates in the blood, excess levels of this sugar are excreted in the urine. Because of greater amounts of glucose in the urine, more water is excreted with it, causing an increase in urinary volume and frequency of urination as well as thirst. (The name diabetes mellitus refers to these symptoms: diabetes, from the Greek diabainein, meaning “to pass through,” describes the copious urination, and mellitus, from the Latin meaning “sweetened wi Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes definition and facts Risk factors for gestational diabetes include a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, There are typically no noticeable signs or symptoms associated with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause the fetus to be larger than normal. Delivery of the baby may be more complicated as a result. The baby is also at risk for developing low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) immediately after birth. Following a nutrition plan is the typical treatment for gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy eating plan may be able to help prevent or minimize the risks of gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is diabetes, or high blood sugar levels, that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. It is usually diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy and often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy predispose some women to become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by specialized cells in the pancreas that allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose for later usage as fuel (energy). When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise. What are the screening guidelines for gestational diabetes? All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy (see Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia In Diabetes

Hyperglycemia In Diabetes

Print Overview High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) affects people who have diabetes. Several factors can contribute to hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, including food and physical activity choices, illness, nondiabetes medications, or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. It's important to treat hyperglycemia, because if left untreated, hyperglycemia can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as a diabetic coma. In the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. Symptoms Hyperglycemia doesn't cause symptoms until glucose values are significantly elevated — above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 11 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Symptoms of hyperglycemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. However, some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugars. Early signs and symptoms Recognizing early symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you treat the condition promptly. Watch for: Frequent urination Increased thirst Blurred vision Fatigue Headache Later signs and symptoms If hyperglycemia goes untreated, it can cause toxic acids (ketones) to build up in your blood and urine (ketoacidosis). Signs and symptoms include: Fruity-smelling breath Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Dry mouth Weakness Confusion Coma Abdominal pain When to see a doctor Call 911 or emergency medical assistance if: You're sick and can't keep any food or fluids down, and Your blood glucose levels are persistently above 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) and you have ketones in your urine Make an appointment with your Continue reading >>

Facts About Diabetes And Insulin

Facts About Diabetes And Insulin

Diabetes is a very common disease, which, if not treated, can be very dangerous. There are two types of diabetes. They were once called juvenile-onset diabetes and adult diabetes. However, today we know that all ages can get both types so they are simply called type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1, which occurs in approximately 10 percent of all cases, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system, by mistake, attacks its own insulin-producing cells so that insufficient amounts of insulin are produced - or no insulin at all. Type 1 affects predominantly young people and usually makes its debut before the age of 30, and most frequently between the ages of 10 and 14. Type 2, which makes up the remaining 90 percent of diabetes cases, commonly affects patients during the second half of their lives. The cells of the body no longer react to insulin as they should. This is called insulin resistance. In the early 1920s, Frederick Banting, John Macleod, George Best and Bertram Collip isolated the hormone insulin and purified it so that it could be administered to humans. This was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes type 1. Insulin Insulin is a hormone. Hormones are chemical substances that regulate the cells of the body and are produced by special glands. The hormone insulin is a main regulator of the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. To be more specific, it's produced by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. When we eat, glucose levels rise, and insulin is released into the bloodstream. The insulin acts like a key, opening up cells so they can take in the sugar and use it as an energy source. Sugar is one of the top energy sources for the body. The body gets it in many forms, but mainly as carbohydr Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years. However, an increasing number of younger people, even children, are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The first-line treatment is diet, weight control and physical activity. If the blood sugar (glucose) level remains high despite these measures then tablets to reduce the blood glucose level are usually advised. Insulin injections are needed in some cases. Other treatments include reducing blood pressure if it is high, lowering high cholesterol levels and also using other measures to reduce the risk of complications. Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully. If a high blood sugar level is brought down to a normal level, your symptoms will ease. You still have some risk of complications in the long term if your blood glucose level remains even mildly high - even if you have no symptoms in the short term. However, studies have shown that people who have better glucose control have fewer complications (such as heart disease or eye problems) compared with those people who have poorer control of their glucose level. Therefore, the main aims of treatment are: To keep your blood glucose level as near normal as possible. To reduce any other risk factors that may increase your risk of developing complications. In particular, to lower your blood pressure if it is high and to keep your blood lipids (cholesterol) low. To detect any complications as early as possible. Treatment can prevent or delay some complications from becoming worse. Type 2 diabetes is usually initially treated by following a healthy diet, losing weight if you are overweight, and having regular physical activity. If lifestyle advice does not control your blood sugar (glucose) levels then medicines are used to help lower your Continue reading >>

Diabetes (mellitus, Type 1 And Type 2)

Diabetes (mellitus, Type 1 And Type 2)

A A A Are There Home Remedies (Diet, Exercise, and Glucose Monitoring) for Diabetes? Diabetes is a condition characterized by the body's inability to regulate glucose (sugar) levels in blood. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin. People with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but the body is not able to use the insulin effectively. The cause of type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction. Combinations of genetic risk factors and unhealthy lifestyle choices cause type 2 diabetes. The main diagnostic test for diabetes is measurement of the blood glucose level. Changes in lifestyle and diet may be adequate to control some cases of type 2 diabetes. Others with type 2 diabetes require medications. Insulin is essential treatment for type 1 diabetes. No effective approach yet exists to prevent type 1 diabetes. Prevention of type 2 diabetes can be accomplished in some cases by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Prediabetes is a condition that can occur before development of type 2 diabetes. Complications of any type of diabetes include damage to blood vessels, leading to heart disease or kidney disease. Damage to blood vessels in the eye can result in vision problems including blindness. Nerve damage can occur, leading to diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a set of related diseases in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar (specifically, glucose) in the blood. The blood delivers glucose to provide the body with energy to perform all daily activities. The liver converts the food a person eats into glucose. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream from the liver between meals. In a healthy person, several hormones tightly regulate the blood glucose level, primarily insulin. Insulin is Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetes?

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is an incurable condition in which the body cannot control blood sugar levels, because of problems with the hormone insulin. There are two main variations of the illness, Type I and Type II. How does the body control blood sugar levels? Your body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy. Glucose is a basic ingredient of sweet foods such as sweets and cakes. It can also be produced by carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta or bread when they are digested and broken down. Under normal circumstances, the hormone insulin, which is made by your pancreas, carefully regulates how much glucose is in the blood. Insulin stimulates cells all over your body to absorb enough glucose from the blood to provide the energy, or fuel, that they need. After a meal, the amount of glucose in your blood rises, which triggers the release of insulin. When blood glucose levels fall, during exercise for example, insulin levels fall too. Types of diabetes There are two main types of diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes the cells of the pancreas stop making insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas cells do not make enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react properly to it. This is known as insulin resistance. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, and the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas. It tends to affect people before the age of 40, and often follows a trigger such as a viral infection. The exact mechanisms that lead to Type 2 diabetes are not fully understood, but an underlying genetic susceptibility is usually present. This could be a family history of the illness, for example. The condition is then triggered by lifestyle factors - such as obesity - and it usually appears in people over the age of 40. There are three other, less common, forms of diabetes: Gestati Continue reading >>

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

Swallowing pills, checking your blood sugar all the time, or sticking yourself with needles full of insulin probably doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But taking steps to keep your diabetes under control is your best shot at preventing a slew of frightening complications. If you don't take care of yourself, "diabetes complications typically start within 5 years; within 10 to 15 years, the majority of patients will progress to have multiple health issues," says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and taking your medication may not only stop complications from progressing, but can also reverse them, she says. Need motivation to stick to your treatment plan? Here's what can happen when you slack off. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar; with type 2 diabetes, your body can't properly use the insulin you do produce. In turn, your HDL (or "good") cholesterol lowers, and your levels of harmful blood fats called triglycerides rise. Insulin resistance also contributes to hardened, narrow arteries, which in turn increases your blood pressure. As a result, about 70% of people with either type of diabetes also have hypertension—a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and trouble with thinking and memory. (Add these 13 power foods to your diet to help lower blood pressure naturally.) Failing to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, either with diet and exercise alone or by adding medications, accelerates the rate at which all your other complications progress, says Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. More than 4 million people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy, or dam Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

With type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus), if you don’t work hard to keep your blood glucose level under control, there are short- and long-term complications to contend with. However, by watching the amount and types of food you eat (your meal plan), exercising, and taking any necessary medications, you may be able to prevent these complications. And even if you have some of the long-term, more serious complications discussed below when you’re first diagnosed, getting tight control of your blood glucose will help prevent the complications from becoming worse. (It is possible with type 2 diabetes to already have some of these complications when you’re first diagnosed. That’s because type 2 develops gradually, and you may not realize that you have high blood glucose for quite some time. Over time, high blood glucose can cause serious damage. You can learn more about that in this article on the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.) Short-term Diabetes Complications Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It is possible for your blood glucose to drop, especially if you’re taking insulin or a sulfonylurea drug (those make your body produce insulin throughout the day). With these medications, if you eat less than usual or were more active, your blood glucose may dip too much. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and too much alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose). Rapid heartbeat Sweating Whiteness of skin Anxiety Numbness in fingers, toes, and lips Sleepiness Confusion Headache Slurred speech Mild cases of hypoglycemia can be treated by drinking orange juice or eating a glucose tablet—those will quickly rai Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Introduction Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone insulin – produced by the pancreas – is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin Type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don't react to insulin This topic is about type 1 diabetes. Read more about type 2 diabetes Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear following birth. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. You should therefore visit your GP if you have symptoms, which include feeling thirsty, passing urine more often than usual and feeling tired all the time (see the list below for more diabetes symptoms). Type 1 and type 2 diabetes Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40, particularly in childhood. Around 10% of all diabetes is type 1, but it's the most common type of childhood diabetes. This is why it's sometimes called juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn't produce any insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is why it's also sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can, over time, seriously damage the body's organs. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin. Around 90% of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop l Continue reading >>

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