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 >>
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes. Blood tests can show if you have diabetes. One type of test, the A1C, can also check on how you are managing your diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also monitor your blood glucose level and take medicine if prescribed. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, have obesity, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. Havin Continue reading >>
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Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes
What are the symptoms of diabetes? Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination increased hunger fatigue blurred vision numbness or tingling in the feet or hands sores that do not heal unexplained weight loss Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease. What causes type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of diabetes—is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts. Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resista Continue reading >>
Why Diabetes Is Called A Chronic Disease Asia?
If you talk about Asia, the discussion would remain focused on India and China, the two major economies of Asia and world at large. A sizeable population of Asia lives in these two countries and for this reason it is India and China that are facing major health issues. The major health issues with the aging population are non-communicable but chronic ailments like diabetes and cancer. Diabetes is called silent killer and cancer is painful. Out of the two, it is diabetes that has taken more people in its grip than cancer. Diabetes is certainly the most chronic disease Asia. Reasons for diabetes Unhealthy lifestyle: Fast life has nothing to give but stress and tension. People wake up early but not for exercising. They keep eating all the time but not for health. Mental pressure fuels hunger and they eat whatever they get their hands on. Quick food could be pleasing for taste buds but it is harmful for health. Obesity: It is itself an ailment and also a reason for diabetes. But diabetes can be controlled with a little change in lifestyle. Medicines can help but in the long run, it is the person suffering from diabetes that has to fight with chronic disease Asia. It is easy to fight with diabetes, if the people are educated on the harmful effects of the problem. How to fight with diabetes? People rely on medicines. They go to doctors and take medicines but little do they know that blood sugar can be controlled with medical help. Regular medicines have side effects but there is no need to take regular meds as diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. Education can prove to be the best and the biggest weapon against this chronic disease Asia. Researchers are working hard to find ways to educate people. Scholars are finding ways to take the message of healthy and diab Continue reading >>
Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor For Kidney Disease
Diabetes mellitus, usually called diabetes, is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in your blood. A high blood sugar level can cause problems in many parts of your body. The most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type, your pancreas does not make enough insulin and you have to take insulin injections for the rest of your life. Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, usually occurs in people over 40 and is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In Type 2, your pancreas makes insulin, but your body does not use it properly. The high blood sugar level often can be controlled by following a diet and/or taking medication, although some patients must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is particularly prevalent among African Americans, American Indians, Latin Americans and Asian Americans. With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood. Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that h Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (type I)
Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), also known as type 1 diabetes, usually starts before 15 years of age, but can occur in adults also. Diabetes involves the pancreas gland, which is located behind the stomach (Picture 1). The special cells (beta cells) of the pancreas produce a hormone called insulin. The body is made up of millions of cells. All cells need glucose (sugar) from the food we eat for energy. Just as a car can’t run without gasoline, the body can’t work without glucose. Insulin is the “key” that allows glucose to enter the cells. Without this key, glucose stays in the bloodstream and the cells can’t use it for energy. Instead, the glucose builds up in the blood and spills over into the urine. When a person develops type 1diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin. To help the body’s cells use the glucose, a child with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) must receive insulin by injection (shot). What Happens in Type 1 Diabetes The cause of diabetes is not known. Some experts believe diabetes is inherited (runs in families), but the genetics are not clearly understood. Diabetes does not always run in families. The body mistakes the cells that produce insulin for foreign cells. The body then destroys these cells. This is called an auto-immune process. Although something in the environment may trigger the disease, there are no known ways to prevent type 1 diabetes in children. Important Facts about Diabetes People do not “outgrow” type 1 diabetes, but they can learn to control it by insulin shots, blood glucose testing, diet and exercise. Diabetes is not contagious ("catching"). About 14.6 million Americans have diabetes. About 1 out of 10 people with diabetes have type 1 DM. Another type of diabetes is type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetes Continue reading >>
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What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
The more severe form of diabetes is type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes. It’s sometimes called “juvenile” diabetes, because type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and teenagers, though it can develop at any age. Immune System Attacks With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks part of its own pancreas. Scientists are not sure why. But the immune system mistakenly sees the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas as foreign, and destroys them. This attack is known as "autoimmune" disease. These cells – called “islets” (pronounced EYE-lets) – are the ones that sense glucose in the blood and, in response, produce the necessary amount of insulin to normalize blood sugars. Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter -- and allow you to use the glucose for energy. Without insulin, there is no “key.” So, the sugar stays -- and builds up-- in the blood. The result: the body’s cells starve from the lack of glucose. And, if left untreated, the high level of “blood sugar” can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves, and the heart, and can also lead to coma and death. Insulin Therapy So, a person with type 1 treats the disease by taking insulin injections. This outside source of insulin now serves as the “key” -- bringing glucose to the body’s cells. The challenge with this treatment is that it’s often not possible to know precisely how much insulin to take. The amount is based on many factors, including: Food Exercise Stress Emotions and general health Balancing Act These factors fluctuate greatly throughout every day. So, deciding on what dose of insulin to take is a complicated balancing act. If you take too much, then your body burns too much glucose -- and your blood sugar can drop to a dangerously lo Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body stops producing insulin in the pancreas. The pancreas lies at the back of the abdomen and has two main functions: to produce a juice that flows into the digestive system to help us digest food to produce the hormone called insulin. Insulin is the key hormone that controls the flow of glucose (sugar) in and out of the cells of the body. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin output because of auto-immune damage to the pancreas gland. Damage to the pancreas can occur for a many reasons, eg a viral infection. But the most common cause in type 1 diabetes is the body's own immune system. Insulin-producing cells in the pancreas of people with type 1 diabetes are destroyed by cells that normally defend us from invading organisms. This is called an 'auto-immune' process, referring to the fact the body appears to turn against itself. The reason why this happens in unknown. Term watch Type 1 diabetes used to be called 'insulin dependent diabetes'. This is because this type of diabetes always requires insulin treatment. As some people with type 2 diabetes now also require insulin, the term type 1 is preferred. There are other auto-immune diseases, for example of the thyroid and adrenal glands. They are more frequent in people who have Type 1 diabetes. This may reflect an inherited tendency to developing auto-immune disease that is triggered by some other factor in the environment. Exactly what that trigger can be is still unclear, but there is some evidence to suggest that a virus infection or cow's milk could start the process off. What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes? Glucose is one of the key fuels used by the cells of the body for its energy needs. The brain and nervous system use only glucose, while most other cells can also ut Continue reading >>
The Deliberate Lies They Tell About Diabetes
By some estimates, diabetes cases have increased more than 700 percent in the last 50 years. One in four Americans now have either diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose) Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and virtually 100 percent reversible, simply by implementing simple, inexpensive lifestyle changes, one of the most important of which is eliminating sugar (especially fructose) and grains from your diet Diabetes is NOT a disease of blood sugar, but rather a disorder of insulin and leptin signaling. Elevated insulin levels are not only symptoms of diabetes, but also heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity Diabetes drugs are not the answer – most type 2 diabetes medications either raise insulin or lower blood sugar (failing to address the root cause) and many can cause serious side effects Sun exposure shows promise in treating and preventing diabetes, with studies revealing a significant link between high vitamin D levels and a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome By Dr. Mercola There is a staggering amount of misinformation on diabetes, a growing epidemic that afflicts more than 29 million people in the United States today. The sad truth is this: it could be your very OWN physician perpetuating this misinformation Most diabetics find themselves in a black hole of helplessness, clueless about how to reverse their condition. The bigger concern is that more than half of those with type 2 diabetes are NOT even aware they have diabetes — and 90 percent of those who have a condition known as prediabetes aren’t aware of their circumstances, either. Diabetes: Symptoms of an Epidemic The latest diabetes statistics1 echo an increase in diabetes ca Continue reading >>
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring Of Diabetes
According to the latest American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 8 million people 18 years and older in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Often type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed until symptoms become severe and hospitalization is required. Left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health complications. That's why it's so important to both know what warning signs to look for and to see a health care provider regularly for routine wellness screenings. Symptoms In incidences of prediabetes, there are no symptoms. People may not be aware that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes because they have no symptoms or because the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed for quite some time. However, some individuals do experience warning signs, so it's important to be familiar with them. Prediabetes Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes No symptoms Increased or extreme thirst Increased thirst Increased appetite Increased appetite Increased fatigue Fatigue Increased or frequent urination Increased urination, especially at night Unusual weight loss Weight loss Blurred vision Blurred vision Fruity odor or breath Sores that do not heal In some cases, no symptoms In some cases, no symptoms If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider right away. Diabetes can only be diagnosed by your healthcare provider. Who should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should be tested if you are: If your blood glucose levels are in normal range, testing should be done about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after diagnosis. Tests for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes There are three ty Continue reading >>
An Egyptian papyrus mentions a rare disease that causes the patient to lose weight rapidly and urinate frequently. This is thought to be the first reference to diabetes. The creation of the term “diabetes” is credited to Apollonius of Memphis, which refers to a disease which drains patients of more fluid than they can consume. A Greek physician, Galen of Pergamum, theorises that diabetes is an affliction of the kidneys. After this period, diabetes is rarely mentioned. Around this period, ‘uroscopy’ becomes a way of identifying disease, which involves examining the colour, sediment and odour of urine to try to establish what is wrong with the patient. Some physicians even taste the urine, and this is apparently how diabetes is given its second name, mellitus, meaning ‘honey’ in Latin. Matthew Dobson identifies that the sweet taste in the urine of people with diabetes is due to excess sugar in the urine and the blood. He also observes that diabetes is fatal for some, leading to death within five weeks, while others live much longer. This is the first indication of two different types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. John Rollo treats a patient using a high-fat and protein diet, the first significant dietary approach to the treatment of diabetes. Claude Bernard coins the term “glycogen” after discovering a substance formed by the liver that he reports is the same sugar found in the urine of those with diabetes. This is the first link between diabetes, glycogen and metabolism. Johann Peter Frank is credited as being the first physician to distinguish clinical differences between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus.  By the early 19th Century, chemical tests have been devised which can detect excess sugar in the urine. Despite therapies being propose Continue reading >>
Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs - Overview
This handout provides general information about diabetes mellitus in dogs. For information about its treatment, see the fact sheets "Diabetes Mellitus - Principles of Treatment" and "Diabetes Mellitus - Insulin Treatment". What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas, a small but vital organ located near the stomach. The pancreas has two significant types of cells. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta cells, produces the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the level of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and controls the delivery of glucose to the tissues of the body. In simple terms, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar. The clinical signs of diabetes mellitus are related to elevated concentrations of blood glucose and the inability of the body to use glucose as an energy source. What are the clinical signs of diabetes and why do they occur? The four main symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Glucose is a vital substance that provides much of the energy needed by cells, but it must first be absorbed by the cells. Insulin attaches to receptors on the surface of cells and opens "pores" in the cell wall that allow glucose molecules to leave the bloodstream and enter the cell's interior. Without an adequate amount of insulin to "open the door," glucose is unable to get into the cells, so it accumulates in the blood, setting in motion a series of events that result in diabetes mellitus. "When there isn't enough insulin, the cells of the body become starved for their promary source of energy - glucose." When there isn't enough insulin, the cells of the bod Continue reading >>
What Is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a common disease where there is too much sugar (glucose) floating around in your blood. This occurs because either the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin or the cells in your body have become resistant to insulin. When you eat food, the amount of glucose in your blood skyrockets. That’s because the food you eat is converted into glucose (usable energy for your cells) and enters your blood to be transported to your cells around the body. Special cells in your pancreas sense the increase of glucose and release insulin into your blood. Insulin has a lot of different jobs, but one of its main tasks is to help decrease blood glucose levels. It does this by activating a system which transports glucose from your blood into your cells. It also decreases blood glucose by stimulating an enzyme called glycogen synthase in the liver. This molecule is responsible for making glycogen, a long string of glucose, which is then stored in the liver and used in the future when there is a period of low blood glucose. As insulin works on your body, the amount of glucose in the blood slowly returns to the same level it was before you ate.. This glucose level when you haven’t eaten recently (called fasting glucose) sits around 3.5-6 mmol/L (70-110 mg/dL). Just after a meal, your blood glucose can jump as high as 7.8mmol/L (140 mg/dL) depending on how much and what you ate. There are two types of diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2. In both types, your body has trouble transporting sugar from your blood into your cells. This leads to high levels of glucose in your blood and a deficiency of glucose in your cells. The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus is the underlying mechanisms that cause your blood sugar to stray from the normal range. T Continue reading >>
Alternative names for diabetes mellitus Diabetes; type 2 diabetes; type 1 diabetes; sugar diabetes; T2DM, T1DM; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus; IDDM; juvenile-onset diabetes What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, resulting in high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. There are many different types of diabetes; the most common are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which are covered in this article. Gestational diabetes occurs during the second half of pregnancy and is covered in a separate article. Diabetes mellitus is linked with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, poor blood circulation to the legs and damage to the eyes, feet and kidneys. Early diagnosis and strict control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help to prevent or delay these complications associated with diabetes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (regular exercise, not smoking and eating healthily) is important in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. What causes diabetes mellitus? Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells within the pancreas in response to the intake of food. The role of insulin is to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels by allowing cells in the muscle, liver and fat to take up sugar from the bloodstream that has been absorbed from food, and store it away as energy. In type 1 diabetes (or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), the insulin-producing cells are destroyed and the body is not able to produce insulin naturally. This means that sugar is not stored away but is constantly released from energy stores giving rise to high sugar levels in the blood. This in turn causes dehydration and thirst (because the high glucose ‘spills over’ into the urine and pulls wat Continue reading >>
Diabetes: Definition, Causes And Symptoms
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone. When your body turns the food you eat into energy (also called sugar or glucose), insulin is released to help transport this energy to the cells. Insulin acts as a “key.” Its chemical message tells the cell to open and receive glucose. If you produce little or no insulin, or are insulin resistant, too much sugar remains in your blood. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal for individuals with diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. What is Type 1 diabetes? When you are affected with Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes, since it is often diagnosed in children or teens. This type accounts for 5-10 percent of people with diabetes. What is Type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the cells are unable to use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is commonly called “adult-onset diabetes” since it is diagnosed later in life, generally after the age of 45. 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have this type. In recent years Type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed in younger people, including children, more frequently than in the past. Are there other forms of diabetes? Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and affects about 18 percent of all pregnancies, according to the American Diabetes Association. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, but once you've had gestational diabetes, your chances are higher that it will happen in future pregnancies. In some women pregnancy uncovers Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and these women will need to continue d Continue reading >>