Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases. It’s key characteristic is high blood glucose or blood sugar. This disease is often referred to as “sugar” or “sweet urine”. In a normal person the blood sugar levels are controlled by a hormone secreted by the pancreas called insulin.
When the insulin is insufficient or non existent or just does not perform it’s job that the levels of blood glucose in the blood remain high. It is the job of the insulin to lower the blood glucose after one eats or at anytime the blood glucose levels rise. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that currently has no cure but can be lived with successfully with proper medical attention.
Who is at Risk of Diabetes?
While it is still not known 100% why children or young people develop type 1 diabetes it has been linked to an autoimmune disease. This is also a disease that may have genetic risk factors, but more research is needed to find who will be most likely affected.
Ethnicity plays a factor particularly when a close relative had type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes. Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Japanese Americans, have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Aging: Those who are 45 and over are at a greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Those over 65 are at an even great risk.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of diabetes depend on the type of diabetes you are experiencing. The following symptoms are related to all types of diabetes.
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Excessive Thirst
- Excessive Urination
- Excessive Eating
- Poor Wound Healing
- Blurry Vision
- Altered Mental Status
For those who have type 1 diabetes the symptoms come on quickly and can be in association with another illness such as a viral infection or urinary tract infection. For those who have type 2 Diabetes the symptoms are more gradual. A patient with type 2 diabetes can have the symptoms for years before it is diagnosed.
What Are the Causes?
Type one diabetes is due to an autoimmune disease. It is also possible for this type of Diabetes to run in the family and therefore have a genetic disposition.
Type 2 Diabetes also has a high genetic factor. Type 2 Diabetes tends to run in families. Studies have already discovered certain genes that are related to type 2 diabetes. Other risk factor for type 2 diabetes include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Fat diet
- High alcohol intake
- Inactive lifestyle
- High Triglyceride levels
- History if gestational Diabetes
While there are no over the counter treatments for diabetes, there are several low sugar or zero sugar products that can help to keep glucose levels regulated in a diabetic body. Blood glucose montiors and strips are also available over the counter. There are a lot of alternative treatments to help prevent and even treat diabetes once it is diagnosed. You should consider altering your diet and exercise to promote a diet high in fiber, low fat and low in starches and other complex sugars. Diet is one of the most important factors in preventing and later treating diabetes at least for type 2 diabetes. You should lose weight if you are obese which can help reduce your risk factors. You should not smoke since smokers have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Increasing exercise is also important to help manage diabetes. It can also help you lose weight which is important to diabetic patients. It is also important to keep track of your glucose levels. You should be testing by glucose levels everyday. Keeping a diet diary is also an important tool for you to share with your physician.
When is Medical Interventions necessary for Diabetes?
Diabetes is a very dangerous disease which should be closely monitored by a doctor. It is important that you see your family physician if you suspect you have or at risk of developing diabetes. While Diabetes can be successful managed at home without the use of medication or insulin it is important to seek medical attention if diabetes is suspected.
Currently there is no quick fix cure for diabetes. Diabetes medical treatment is created on an individual basis. You should work with your doctor to create a plan to control your diabetes. For those with type 1 Diabetes an injection of insulin must be given usually by the individual several times a day to control glucose and insulin levels. Type 2 Diabetes can usually be controlled through diet and exercise. In some circumstances medication is also required to help control the diabetes. These options should be discussed with a doctor.