Diabetes – Diabetes in Detail

February 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Diabetes

All of us have heard of diabetes. All of us know people who suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is so widespread a disease. Yet, many of us hardly know what diabetes is.

A person is said to be afflicted with diabetes when the blood glucose levels in the body are found to be away from the normal range, chronically. The body is unable to secrete enough insulin or is able to secrete enough insulin but the uptake of insulin by the body is low.

A lower amount of insulin production indicates Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is genetically acquired and may also afflict a person while they are still young. The immune system of the afflicted, do not function well and affect the pancreas, the insulin manufacturer of the body.

A lower amount of insulin uptake indicates Type 2 diabetes. This is the most prevalent one, accounting to ninety percent of the diabetes cases. Seven percent of U.S. population, mostly the elderly, are afflicted with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is aggravated by lifestyle factors like unhealthy food intake, excess intake, stress and sedentary lives.

Gestational diabetes affects some three percent of the pregnant women in their last semester of pregnancy. They normalise soon after delivery of the baby.

Highly frequent excessive urination and unexplainable thirst are the characteristic symptoms of diabetes. Though, these symptoms do not necessarily point to diabetic conditions. A blood glucose test alone can confirm the presence of diabetic conditions in the body.

The body tries to wash out the glucose overload in the blood through frequent and more urination. Thereafter the body tries to compensate for the loss of fluids by seeking more water. This is the reason why the diabetes afflicted is forever thirsty.

The carbohydrates in the food that we take, gets converted to glucose through the process of digestion. Insulin released by pancreas helps glucose move into the cells. Glucose provides energy to the cells to perform their functions, to repair themselves, etc.

A low production of insulin or inability of the body to use insulin results in diabetes. This condition of the body cannot be reverted back. But it can be managed with external inputs. Diet control, insulin injections, exercise and lifestyle changes are some of the ways to manage diabetes.

The extent of glucose released in the body can be controlled by controlling the quantity of carbohydrate and sugar consumed. The less the quantity of carbohydrate and sugar consumed, the less will be the quantity of glucose released.

The glucose released into the body can be used up well by way of exercise. Exercising needs energy. Energy is sourced from glucose. In short, more glucose gets used up when we exercise.

Insulin shortage in the body has to be replenished by oral medication and injections.

Unutilized glucose present in the blood can cause a chain of medical ailments depending on the degree of intensity of diabetes. A condition of diabetes should not be left untreated.