Diabetes and General Health
With more people dying from complications, diabetes is threatening to rise to the top of the list of deadliest diseases in the world. In developing countries, it has affected people in the productive stage of their lives, while most people who have diabetes in developed countries are past the age of retirement.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disorder wherein a person has high blood sugar levels. This occurs when insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient or cells do not respond to the insulin. Instead of being utilized as energy, glucose builds up in the blood of those who have this disease.
The body gets its energy from glucose taken from foods such as rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, fruit, and milk. It needs insulin to make use of this glucose. Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of sugar in blood.
Adverse Effects of Diabetes
• It can damage the blood vessels, which supply the nerves, resulting to a gradual loss of sensation in hands, feet, and even in limbs.
• It can damage the blood vessels in the retina and when not treated, may lead to blindness.
• It can damage the kidneys’ blood vessels and its function of eliminating excess water and waste from the body.
• It can make affected people more prone to urinary tract infection.
• It can cause chemical imbalance resulting to nausea and vomiting.
Types of Diabetes
• Type 1
This is known as juvenile onset diabetes. This is a disease, wherein the immune system of the body destroys cells, which release insulin. This eventually leads to the elimination of insulin production. With no insulin, cells cannot absorb glucose that they need in generating energy. This starts early in childhood or young adulthood. Those who have this disease often experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.
• Type 2
This is also called adult onset diabetes. This is characterized by a body’s resistance to insulin. This means that the body does not properly respond to insulin. Those who have this disease develop a resistance to insulin because of factors, which include obesity, genetics, age and high blood sugar levels. This is usually diagnosed during adulthood, but lately, more children are being detected with this type of diabetes. With a healthy lifestyle, this can be either prevented or delayed.
While it can be monitored and managed to prevent complications, diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness. Since diabetes 2 is still preventable, a total change of lifestyle is the best way to combat the ill effects of this disease.