Type II diabetes is a chronic condition that negatively affects the way the body metabolizes sugar. In the body, sugar is metabolized into glucose and the body's primary source of fuel. Another substance affected by type II diabetes is insulin. Insulin is a hormone which works to regulate the movement of glucose into cells and type II diabetes reduces the effects of insulin or reduces the body's production of this vital hormone.
Left untreated, the impact of type II diabetes can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
But there is no cure for type II diabetes, but prevention and management when properly diagnosed can reduce the consequences of this serious condition. It is also important to note the increase in type II diabetes in children. Research has indicated four critical factors increasing the probability for developing this serious condition.
Children's race seems to be a factor. African American, Hispanic American, Asian and Pacific Islander American, and Asian American are at a higher risk for type II diabetes. Childhood obesity is the second important risk factor. Studies have proven approximately 85 percent of the children with type II diabetes had a body mass index (BMI) of 25% or higher. BMI is calculated by a person's body weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared. Although further studies need to be communicated, obesity in childhood is a manageable goal by parents.
The third risk factor is having relatives with diabetes. Although the percentages vary, there seems to be a direct link between childhood type II diabetes and having relatives with diabetes. The fourth factor for children is their gender. In almost all groups studied, more females than males developed this condition in childhood.
Type II diabetes symptoms do not discriminate by age and can develop very slowly over the course of many years without a person knowing they suffer from the condition. Symptoms of type II diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss, feeling fatigued, and blurred vision, frequent infections, and areas of darkened skin are several signs medical attention is warranted.
Type II diabetes develops when the body when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to insulin's role. Despite medical advances, the exact etiology why this happens is still unknown. Although ongoing investigation for the exact causes lasts, excess weight, inactivity, and a sedimentary lifestyle seem to be important factors. In type II diabetes, the insulin process works improperly. In type I diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin and the process does not have a chance to function.
Experts do not fully understand why some develop type II diabetes and others do not. Although still evasive in causes, certain factors increase the risk and include being overweight ,activity, family history, age, and race. Women who were diabetic during pregnancy and people who are pre-diabetic, higher than normal levels, both are at higher risk.
Although long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, if not treated type II diabetes can be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:
Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems. Heart attacks, strokes, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure are serious medical issues caused by diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, 75% of people diagnosed with diabetes die from heart and / or blood vessel diseases.
Nerve damage. Diabetes injures capillaries, the tiny blood vessels which nourish the nerves. Numbness, burning, pain, and tingling sensations begins in the toes and fingers gradually spreads upward. Occasionally, nerve damage causes a loss and / or sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Diabetes nerve damage can also cause serious digestive problems and erectile dysfunction in men.
Kidney damage. The kidneys contain millions of tiny capillaries which filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this filtering system increasing waste levels in the blood. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure and / or irreversible end-stage kidney disease. When permanent damage occurs, dialysis or a kidney transplants become the only options.
Alzheimer's disease, eye damage, skin and mouth conditions, foot damage, and osteoporosis are a few more related medical conditions caused by diabetes. The list is endless as to the dangerous results of not attending to this condition.
To prevent diabetes or its progress, it is important to maintain an active lifestyle and a reasonable weight range. It is not necessary to starve one self or become an Olympic athlete, but the effort to become more active and mindful of what is ingested is most important. The last recommendation, and most important, is visiting a family doctor 1-2 times yearly for regular check ups. Follow all of the doctor's recommendations and schedule an appointment when any negative symptoms occur. Parents should be mindful of their children's weight and encourage nutritional eating habits and an active lifestyle.