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Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

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 le Continue reading

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7 Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

7 Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 8 What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes?
More than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the number of people who know they have the diseases — which can lead to life-threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease — is far lower.
Data from the CDC suggests that of the estimated 30.3 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults living with the disease, are not aware of it. And among those people living with prediabetes, only 11.6 percent are aware that they have the disease.
Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels — though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it's left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications.
Type 2 diabetes, which is often diagnosed when a person has an A1C of at least 7 on two separate occasions, can lead to potentially serious issues, like neuropathy, or nerve damage; vision problems; an increased risk of heart disease; and other diabetes complications. A person’s A1C is the two- to three-month average of his or her blood sugar levels.
According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that i Continue reading

Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes

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 an Continue reading

Is diabetes genetic? Facts about hereditary risk

Is diabetes genetic? Facts about hereditary risk

Diabetes is a complex set of diseases with no single cause. Genetic factors make some people more vulnerable to diabetes, particularly with the right environment.
In addition, certain lifestyle factors can cause type 2 diabetes in individuals with no known family history.
This complex interaction between genes, lifestyle, and environment points to the importance of taking steps to minimize individual diabetes risk.
Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that it causes the body's immune system to attack healthy cells. It is often called juvenile diabetes because most people are diagnosed in childhood, and the condition then lasts their lifetime.
Doctors used to think type 1 diabetes was wholly genetic. Newer studies have shown, however, that children develop type 1 diabetes 3 percent of the time if their mother has the condition, 5 percent of the time if their father has it, or 8 percent if a sibling has type 1 diabetes.
Consequently, researchers now believe that something in the environment has to trigger type 1 diabetes.
Some risk factors include:
Cold weather. People develop type 1 diabetes in winter more frequently than summer. It is also more common in places with cool climates.
Viruses. Researchers think some viruses might activate type 1 diabetes in people who are otherwise vulnerable. Measles, mumps, coxsackie B virus, and rotavirus have been linked to type 1 diabetes.
Research suggests that people who develop type 1 diabetes may have autoimmune antibodies in their blood for many years before showing symptoms. As a result Continue reading

Controlling the Dawn Phenomenon

Controlling the Dawn Phenomenon

Do you wake up with a blood glucose level that’s higher than when you went to bed? You might wonder how this could be. Is this “dawn phenomenon” serious, and what can you do about it?
Our reader Mishelle commented here, “I don’t eat [much] during the day. [I take metformin morning and night.] My blood sugar is still too high in the morning…sometimes 125–140ish.”
How can Mishelle’s glucose levels go up if she didn’t eat anything? She probably has a mild case of dawn phenomenon. Her glucose is going up from sources other than digested food. Some of it is produced by the liver from stored starch and fatty acids. Livers that produce too much glucose are one of the main ways diabetes causes high blood glucose levels. Other organs also produce small amounts of glucose. This is called “gluconeogenesis” for you science freaks out there.
Organs do this to keep blood glucose from going too low at night or other times of not eating. From about 2 AM to 8 AM, most people’s bodies produce hormones, including cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine. All these hormones increase insulin resistance and tell the liver to make more glucose. The idea is to get you enough glucose to get out of bed and start the day. The whole process is apparently started by growth hormones.
Everyone has a dawn phenomenon. Otherwise they’d be too weak to get breakfast. But in people without diabetes, insulin levels also increase to handle the extra glucose. People with diabetes can’t increase insulin levels that much, so their early morning blood glucose levels can rise dramatically.
Ex Continue reading

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