Although sugar diabetes is treatable, diabetes and diabetes related complications are a killer. It is known as the silent killer because symptoms if any gradually develop. This article reviews diabetes information on why sugar diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the USA and what diabetics can do to prevent themselves from becoming a statistic.
Diabetes is America affects approximately 18 million people with estimated deaths of 80,000 a year which makes it the seventh leading cause of death. Of the 18 million people, almost half are not aware of their status because symptoms gradually develop and are not a one time occurrence.
With bad eating habits and a lack of exercise, diabetics are being diagnosed at skyrocketing rates. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults, the most common cause of kidney disease and failure that requires dialysis or kidney transplant. It is also the leading cause of limb amputation due to nerve damage.
Diabetes and diabetes related complications and the treatment costs are more than the treatment costs for heart disease, cancer and AIDS. Diabetes complications also include heart disease.
To prevent becoming a statistic and lead a normal and fulfilling life, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, monitor the blood sugar levels, maintain physical activity and use appropriate medication if necessary.
What is Diabetes and how glucose metabolism works
When the body is functioning normally, carbohydrates (from sugars or starches consumed), are converted into glucose (simple sugars) in the intestines. The glucose is then circulated in the blood into the various cells in the body where they produce the energy required by the body to properly function.
Insulin which is a hormone made in the pancreas and released in the blood stream enables the various organs to take the sugar and use it for energy. If the body does not produce any insulin or does not use the insulin produced, glucose remains in the blood and accumulates causing high blood sugar while the cells are starved leading to diabetes complications.
Three Types of Diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes or Juvenile Diabetes (insulin dependent)
This affects individuals that are usually under 35 years of age. It commonly starts in childhood. If you watched the last season of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice”, you may remember the winner, Brett Michaels discussing his diabetes and the daily injections he takes. His daughter was also diagnosed with the disease.
With Type 1 diabetes, the insulin secreting cells in the pancreas are destroyed leading to the zero production of insulin by the body. The diabetic then requires daily injections of insulin in order to live.
The insulin injection is administered under the skin for type 1 diabetics. It can not be orally administered because absorption from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood stream is not possible. It is only possible to be absorbed into the blood stream when the insulin is administered through the skin.
When type 1 diabetes is not handled proactively and left untreated, ketoacidosis which is a life threatening condition leading to a diabetic coma and/or death may develop.
2. Type 2 Diabetes (non-insulin dependent)
This is the most common form of diabetes and is usually linked to obesity and a lack of exercise. It develops in individuals over the age of 40 as well if there is a family history of this disease.
Diabetes 2 results from the body not producing enough insulin or not efficiently using or ignoring the insulin produced. Most of Type 1 diabetics develop diabetes symptoms which may not be present for type 2 diabetics. Sufferers of type 2 diabetes may be unaware that they have the disease until complications develop.
The causes of diabetes, specifically Type 2 is usually linked to obesity and inactivity, and it can be cured or managed effectively by following a proper diabetes 2 diet and adding physical activity. If diet and exercise do not control the disease, some oral medications may be prescribed by doctors. Type 2 diabetics in few cases may inject insulin under the skin.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes usually affects some pregnant women during the second or third trimester. It usually resolves itself one or two months after birth. Sometimes a gestational diabetes diet may be recommended to cure this disease. In some cases, women who suffered from gestational diabetes during a pregnancy will develop diabetes 2 later on.
Evidence shows that the better the patient controls his or her blood sugar levels by means of exercise, following a diabetic diet (and investing in a diabetic cookbook), insulin injections, blood sugar monitoring devises, diabetic shoes, etc, the greater the chances that serious complications can be avoided or reduced.