Diabetes Essay

Length: 2014 words

This disease is originally known as Diabetes Mellitus, the word diabetes, from the Greek for excessive urination, a symptom the ancients noticed, and mellitus, from the Latin for honey-diabetic urine is filled with sugar and is sweet.  Diabetes Specialists, Doctors, and medical books use the term diabetes mellitus, but informally, its just called diabetes mellitus.  Diabetes is a disease, which makes it difficult or impossible for a persons body to properly use glucose, a form of sugar.  During digestion food is broken down into glucose which is caused by the body to create energy.  This process is called metabolism.  A person with Diabetes cannot convert this glucose into useable energy because their body either cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces.

This results in glucose building up in the bloodstream.  Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, a gland near the stomach.  Insulin regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates by controlling the entry of glucose into the cells of the body.  Without insulin, glucose cannot be transported into the cells to be used for energy.  There currently is no cure for diabetes but it can be controlled.  There are three types of diabetes. 1)

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Type 1, IDDM, Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus 2) Type 2, NIDDM, or Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus 3) T0003 or Gestational Diabetes.  These types are all different but anyone with diabetes has one thing in common: little or no ability to move sugar-or glucose-out of their blood into their cells, where it is the bodys primary fuel.

There are different causes of Diabetes.  Diabetes is caused by a lack of the hormone, insulin.  Insulin maintains normal amounts of sugar in the blood.  The hormonal changes in pregnancy increases your blood sugar levels and most pregnant women produce extra insulin to cope with it.  Gestational diabetes is the term used for diabetes, which appears for the first time in pregnancy.  It occurs in up to five percent of pregnant women.  It usually disappears once your baby is born, but you will be monitored closely and your blood sugars will be rechecked six weeks after birth.  Some other causes of IDDM are autoantibodies, viruses, chemicals, and drugs, cows milk.  Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes sufferers are genetic.

It seems to run in the family.  Researchers are finding out that obesity and age could be the onset of (NIDDM).   In Gestation diabetes (Type 3), genetics seems to the culprit because it tends to run in the family.  And obesity because it increases insulin resistance.  It is important to exclude secondary causes of diabetes mellitus, which may be curable.  Such causes include hemochromatosis, chromic pacreatitus, hormonal tumors, durgs, and some genetic disorders.  In addition to helping to establish the initial diagnoses by laboratory analysis, pathologists are more often called upon to evaluate the ravages of the disease upon the end organ systems.  An amputation of the lower limbs is a frequent complication and histology examination often reveals advanced atherosclerotic vascular changes coupled with gangrene.  The non-functioning kidney.  Even the skin shows rare changes such as necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, and unusual degenerative change occurring within the dermis.

There many different symptoms in different types of diabetes: Frequent urination, excessive thirst, always hungry, sudden weight loss, weakness, drowsiness or exhaustion, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, numb or tingling hand or feet, itching of the skin and genitals, vaginal infections, recurring or hard to heal wounds on skin, urinary tract infections, fungal infections, boils, or abscesses, erection impairment in men, unusual vaginal dryness in women.  In addition, in some cases tremors, breathlessness, sometimes followed by fainting.  Some are hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic.  Hyperglycemia is when a person with diabetes has high blood sugar.  Hypoglycemia results when a person who takes insulin or oral medication does not have enough glucose in their body in comparison to the amount of medication.

The reason behind this imbalance is usually because the person didnt eat enough food, the food was not eaten soon enough or too much medication was taken.  Sometimes in hypoglycemia, one or more symptoms may occur and some people shows no symptoms and some people do not even know they have it.  The signs of hypoglycemia are inappropriate responses, confusion and inattention, drowsiness, pale complexion, perspiration, headache, crankiness, lack of coordination, trembling, sudden hunger, and dizziness.  Those who have kelocidosis may have too many ketones, which could lead into a coma.  If detected early, youll have extreme thirst, drowsiness, lethargy, sugar in urine, dry, hot skin, lack of appetite, fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath, heavy-labored breathing, eventual stupor or unconsciousness.

There are physical and metabolic characteristics of persons with diabetes.  By definition, persons with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus have much higher fasting plasma glucose levels than a person with normal glucose tolerance.  Simiar trends are found if 2 hour plasma glucose levels.  Self-reported frequency of urine glucose and high blood glucose in the last 6 months was reported more in younger than in older persons. People between 18-44 years old reported diagnosed as a sure sign of diabetes.  Women are said to have more diabetes than men do.  Obesity is much higher in women than in men.

There are a few reasons people with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar: a) the only sure way to know the level of sugar in the blood and avoid emergencies b) Help prevent long term complications. c) Knowing what your blood sugar levels are at will put your mind at ease. d) A person who properly monitors their blood sugar level will feel better.  People with diabetes have to deal with stress.  Stress is a part of life and we all have things happen to us now and then that we define as stressful.  Each person defines what is stressful to or her.  Some stress in our lives is good.  It makes our lives more interesting and gives purpose and meaning.  Things that we believe are harmful or causing a great deal of change may be too stressful.  Too much stress at one time can also cause an overload.  The body responds to stress by making certain hormones.

These can cause the heart to beat faster, the blood pressure to go up, and faster breathing.  If this energy is not used to either fight or run away you may feel tense, tired, or get a headache.  The hormones your body makes when it feels stress can cause the blood sugar to go up.  However, some people find that their blood sugar level goes down during stressful times.  Thus stress can make your diabetes harder to control.  It can lead to blood sugars that are too high, too low, or changing often.  Some people find that they do no handle stress as well when they have diabetes.  They spend so much energy taking care of their diabetes that they do not feel like they cope with other problems as well as they used to do.  Before you can cope with stress, you first need to be aware of when you feel under stress.

There are some signs that your body needs a rest.  These are headaches, tight muscles in your neck or jaw, a change in eating or sleeping patterns, feeling angry or tense most of the time, loss of interest in sex, and not feeling sure of yourself.  Some people find it helps to keep track of how they feel under stress, what causes stress, and how they handle it.  This information can be added to your blood sugar record or food diary.  Putting these facts together can give you picture of how your diabetes control and eating habits are affected by stress.

Everyone handles stress in their own way.  Some ways of coping give you more problems even though they may help at the time.  Eating too much, smoking, alcohol, drugs or not taking care of a problem are not positive ways to cope with stress.  Positive ways to cope with stress help you to feel in control, informed, and supported by other people.  It is helpful to have several positive ways to cope with different kinds of stress.  Here are some: Talk about your stress with others, know your limits and dont try to do more than you can, realize that it is okay to cry, realize that it is good to laugh each day, exercise or become more active, take care of yourself and your health, plan your day and set goals your can meet, take breaks during stressful hours, dont try to do everything yourself, practice your religion, do fewer things and do them better, avoid stressful situations when possible, use the energy in other ways e.g. hobbies, shopping, and spending time with others, join a support group.

Your diabetes control, your overall health and the way you feel about yourself will all be better if you do. Researchers are trying different ways to get treatment for diabetes patients.  First, they must see their doctor. If you have diabetes during pregnancy, a dietitian, diabetes specialist, specialist doctor, midwife, and obstetrician will regularly see you.  They will monitor your blood sugar and alter the amount of insulin accordingly.  They will check to see if your baby is growing well and ensure your blood pressure is normal-even with good sugar control you are at increased risk of pre-eclampsia (a rare but serious condition characterized by high blood pressure, swollen ankles, and protein in urine).  Diabetes can be controlled by keeping blood sugar levels as close as possible to normal.  This can be done by regular exercise and diet control alone.  Metformin is one of the most common drugs prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes.

Sulphonylureas Alpha Glycosides Inhibitors is also often prescribed to individuals who have not been able to bring down their blood glucose level by eating a healthy diet alone or by taking certain tablets.  The ideal diet is food that is high in fiber and low in sugar.  It should be foods such as wholemeal bread and flour, potatoes and other vegetables, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, beans and pulses, whole-wheat and high-fiber cereals, and fruits.  These should be eaten with protein foods such as lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products and fatty meats, full-fat dairy products and nuts, and avoid sugary foods and drinks.  There are some risk factors that must be considered.

Those at risk of gestational diabetes can be identified by their medical history, including those who: Have a family member with diabetes, have had a previous large baby (over 8lb. 13oz), have excessive sugar in urine, were overweight before the start of pregnancy, are from and ethnic group such as Afro-Caribbean, Mexican, or Indian, current pregnancy shows signs of a large baby or increased amniotic fluid, have sugar detected in their urine on two occasions at antenatal clinic. The burden of diabetes affects all ethnic and socioeconomic populations across the United States.  Efforts to reduce the burden require not only scientific investigation but also education, and training among persons with diabetes and health professionals who deliver diabetes care.  In addition, it is important to establish an equitable and efficient system wherein clinical, public health and environmental activities can occur to reduce the burden of diabetes.

Developing new and transferable programs, approaches, and materials is critical in attempting to reduce the burden of diabetes.  CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has developed and tested diabetes. Today, a training course for building skills in planning and conducting community-based programs for persons with diabetes.  The course will prepare health professionals, community leaders, and other diabetes advocates to serve as catalysts for mobilizing their resources to reduce the burden of diabetes.  In an effort to focus on economic issues and concerns so relevant to the prevention and treatment of diabetes CDC will attempt to launch pilot projects such as the Comprehensive Financing and Case Management for Medicaid eligible person with diabetes.  This project will focus on comprehensive approaches to financing and delivering health care to persons with diabetes through such mechanisms as prospective reimbursement.


Diabetes Sourcebook  Karen Bellinir and Peter D Dresser
BBC News-WebMD
Health.yahoo.com/diseases/sul.n/dependent/diabetes, mellitus, niddm

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