What is diabetis and how is it caused and treated?

please answer in as much detail as possible thanks

Written By Nurse007

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Mr. Knowitall January 29, 2009, 9:49 pm

    There are two main forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. They are completely different diseases but have the same effect.

    In type 1, your immune system attacks your pancreas so it no longer makes enough insulin. So you have to inject insulin. (They're working on insulin nasal spray so you don't have to inject it!) In type 2, the tissues in your muscles are 'insulin resistant', so you have plenty of insulin but it doesn't work. Type 1 used to be called 'juvenile diabetes' because it started mostly in childhood, and type 2 used to be called 'adult onset diabetes' because it starts mostly in older people. But either kind can start at any time.

    What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone that regulates how your muscles use the sugar in your blood to produce energy. If you are diabetic, you're not using that sugar and it builds up in the blood. Over a period of time, high blood sugar causes damage in your body. It can cause blindness, kidney failure, and damage to your nerves called 'neuropathy'. It damages your circulation so you can get gangrene and lose toes, feet, even legs. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputation in the US. It also can cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lead to heart disease.

    The key to treating diabetes is diet and exercise. You have to be careful about the carbohydrates you eat, because this is what causes blood sugar to rise. And you have to get some exercise, because this burns off blood sugar, and it also builds muscle, and more muscle tissue burns more blood sugar. You measure your blood sugar several times a day to keep it in control. And there are some good drugs these days that help keep blood sugar in control.

    If you keep your blood sugar in control, you have a much lower chance of getting 'complications' like blindness, kidney failure, etc. You have to take care of -yourself-, a doctor can only help. You have to change habits and lifestyle, and that can be hard, but it's worth it.

    (I've tried to keep this brief. Please feel free to write me if you have questions.)