A good friend and a cousin were recently diagnosed with diabetes Both had been treated for decades over the last few years but neither took it too seriously and did not stay with the regimen that was needed. For example, instead of losing weight they both gained weight.
Diabetes is an insidious diseases but all of us can take steps to prevent this disease and help others prevent it also. Yes, it can be controlled with medication. Yes, the symptoms do not cramp your lifestyle enough that you can not function as you usually do.
On the other hand, over time it is devastating to your organs. A simple way to explain it is that your organs (heart, liver and kidneys especially) have to work very hard when you have diabetes and they tend to wear out faster then normally as you get older. The results are often debilitating in later years and your quality of life is severely reduced as you age. It also shortens your life span.To properly understand diabetes you need to understand how the body normally processes glucose.
Glucose is the main energy source, the fuel, for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. If you have diabetes, you have too much glucose in your blood which leads to problems. Glucose comes from the food you eat and from your liver. During digestion, glucose is absorbed into your blood stream. At the same time your pancreas also secrete insulin into the bloodstream. As the insulin circulates it is allowed to enter your cells, reducing the amount that's left in your bloodstream. When the amount of blood glucose level drops so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.
Your liver stores any extra glucose, now called glycogen, just in case your cells need it later. When your insulin levels are low because you have not eaten in a while, your liver releases the stored glucose into the bloodstream to keep your glucose level normal.
When you have diabetes instead of entering your cells, the glucose builds up in your bloodstream and some is ever excreted in your urine. Which is why your urine is always test when you go to a physician. This happens because your pancreas is not producing enough insulin or your cells are not responding to insulin or both,
These are symptoms of prediabetes, when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. The medical term for this is diabetes mellitus, the Latin term meaning honey sweet which refers to the excess sugar in your blood and urine.
People often think of diabetes as one disease. The fact is glucose, which comes from the foods you eat and also is made by your liver, can build up in your body for different reasons.
Type 1 diabetes develops when your pancreas makes little if any of the hormone insulin. Without insulin circulating in your bloodstream, glucose can not get into the cells in your muscles and tissues so it builds up in your blood. In the meantime, your liver makes more glucose and also releases it in your bloodstream which increases your blood glucose.
Type 1 diabetes used to be called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. That is because the disease most often develops when you're a child or a teen and daily injections are required to make up for the insulin your body does not produce. Today we know that adults can sometimes also develop type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form. It makes up close to 95 percent of people over age 20 that have the disease. This type used to be called adult-reverse diabetes. Another name is noninsulin-dependent diabetes. This term is not accurate anymore either because children and teens are now developing type 2 diabetes. One of the major reasons for this is childhood obesity.
In the mean time, consider one of the complications of diabetes: Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults, ages 20 to 74 years old.