DIABETESThe Cause Of Diabetes
Diabetes can affect people of any age, race or gender. About 29 million Americans currently live with diabetes, which is an increase of nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years. On a global scale, more than 390 million people are diagnosed with the disease.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, stroke, and heart failure. It claims the life of one American every three minutes, killing more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined. As the number of cases continues to increase, the World Health Organization estimates that the number of people afflicted with diabetes will nearly double by the year 2030.
The Definition Of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, usually occurs in one of two forms. Type 1 diabetes signifies insulin-dependence, and those diagnosed with type 2 are non-insulin dependent. The main characteristic of the disease is the body’s inability to control blood sugar levels because of a lack of insulin.
Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is what allows the cells in the body to absorb glucose (sugar) and use it for energy. When insulin levels are insufficient, the cells lack necessary energy, and glucose levels in the blood can rise to dangerous levels.
What Causes Diabetes?
Diabetes causes are different depending on whether a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. A person with type 1 diabetes must take carefully measured insulin injections to allow the body to use and regulate glucose in the bloodstream.
Insulin resistance causes type 2 diabetes. In this case, the body produces insulin, but the cells do not respond to it as they should. This increases the demand and eventually causes an insulin deficiency.
A type 2 diabetes diagnosis is usually linked with a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Treatment typically centers on lifestyle and dietary changes, but may include oral medications if blood sugar levels remain high.
Effects Of Diabetes
Health risks caused by diabetes can be managed and reduced, but long-term effects of the disease can include:
+ Skin infections
+ Vision problems
+ Kidney problems or failure
+ Nerve damage
+ Tingling or numbness in the feet and hands
+ Tooth decay and gum infections
+ Heart attack
+ Damage to large blood vessels in the heart, brain and legs
If left untreated, the effects of diabetes can increase rapidly, eventually leading to death. It is important for diabetics to visit a medical professional regularly, as well as self-monitor their blood glucose and insulin levels.
If you’d like more information, you’ll find more resources and up-to-date diabetes information at Hotze Health and Wellness Center.