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Diabetes-Symptoms, Treatment and prevention

July 06, 2010  by: Sridevi  Points: 15   Category: Health  Earning $0.85   Views: 1772

The article discusses about diabetes, the types of diabetes, treatment methods and management.


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, otherwise known simply as 'Diabetes', is a fairly common disease affecting many people in India and other countries, especially in the US. The disease basically results from the metabolic defect of the pancreatic gland, which is located behind the stomach, due to which it secretes less amounts of insulin.

The pancreas

The pancreas produces the hormone insulin which helps transport the sugar from the blood to the body cells and give out energy. The insulin insufficiency prevents the sugar from leaving the blood and entering the body cells where it is usually used up to produce energy. The disease does not have a definite cure, at present, but is treatable to a large extent.

Symptoms& Tests

Diabetes is marked by
. Excess thirst
. Weight loss
. Increased urination
. Extreme hunger
. Fatigue
. Slow-healing cuts
. Changes in vision
. Tingling sensation in fingers
Additionally in Type II diabetes, there may be areas of dark pigmentation on the body.

Any or all of the following blood tests are performed to confirm the presence of diabetes:
a) Fasting Plasma Glucose/Fasting blood sugar >= 126 mg/dl OR 7.0 milli moles/lt
b) 2-hour post-load glucose levels >= 200 mg/dl . This is the oral glucose tolerance test
c) Hemoglobin A1c level of 6.5% or higher. [Hemoglobin A1c test determines your blood sugar levels.]

Types of Diabetes

There are 2 major types of diabetes mellitus:

Type 1 diabetes: This is also called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus(IDDM), usually sets in from childhood and involves in 90% destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas resulting in complete deficiency of insulin in the body. As it is diagnosed in children, it is also known as juvenile diabetes. Patients with this type of diabetes are usually thin and may show the normal symptoms of increased thirst, hunger and urination quite suddenly.

Treatment: The person needs to get insulin injections regularly to maintain the glucose level in the blood. This might also be accompanied with oral medications.

Type 2 diabetes: This is called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is the more common form of diabetes. It usually sets in adults and few of the causal factors are heredity, obesity, race and high cholesterol levels. Here, more than the inadequacy of insulin secretion by the pancreas, it is the body cells' resistance to insulin that is more prevalent. As a result, the insulin which is secreted is not able to be used by the body for giving energy. Patients with type II diabetes are usually obese and the symptoms of hunger and thirst surface relatively slowly.

Treatment: The treatment is with diet, weight reduction, exercise and, if needed, insulin or hypoglycaemic agents which stimulate the ability of the pancreas to make insulin and improve the body's sensitivity to insulin. In about 90% of patients, mere lifestyle changes and oral medications do not prove effective, thus necessitating the patient to also have insulin injections to achieve control of blood glucose and AIc levels, before the pancreatic beta-cell total insufficiency occurs.

Gestational Diabetes:
Diabetes which occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. It may occur in women who were not previously diagnosed with the disease and can be of either of the two types. Gestation diabetes can be controlled by special diet, testing the blood glucose at home, and in a few cases, taking artificial insulin. It usually goes away with the birth of the baby, although there is a chance of diabetes to recur later in life.

Dietary Management

Diabetic patients need to make certain dietary changes, which is, however, dependent on the patient's age, sex and weight. This includes the following:
. Decreasing overall fat intake, including sweets and fast foods.
. Spacing the meals and having smaller meals throughout the day.
. Limiting the consumption of carbohydrates as glucose is mainly released from carbohydrates. Protein intake should also be lessened as kidneys may be impacted.
. Replacing bakery products with whole grains and certain low-sugar cereals.
. Taking fresh fruits, with the exception of sapotas, mangoes and other sweet fruits.
. Avoiding drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.
. Having a lot of low-glycemic foods, which take time to digest and thus, lower the blood sugar levels, like whole grains, high- fibre fruits, oatmeal, peanuts and beans,

The general guidelines for a proper diet during diabetes can be stated as 50% low-glycemic carbohydrates, 20% lean protein and 30% of good fat (poly and mono unsaturated fats.). For diabetic recipes, you can visit the site:


Diabetes can lead to coma, when the sugar level becomes too high, and ketoacidosis (partial burning of fats, leading to accumulation of fats in the body). Also, the excess sugar in the blood might, over time, lead to damage of the blood vessels of the eyes and other body organs.

Note: There is another disease bearing a similar name viz Diabetes insipidus. However, both diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus are totally unrelated although both have similar signs and symptoms like polyuria(excess urination) and polydipsia(excess thirst).

Author: Mathi        
Posted Date: 08/18/2010    Points:1    

It is a good article about health.
good sridevi

write more like this.
Author: Dr. Simran Kaur        
Posted Date: 12/19/2010        

good dietary advice for diabetes Sridevi

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