The number of people around the world suffering from diabetes has skyrocketed in the last two decades, from 30 million to 230 million, claiming millions of lives and severely taxing the ability of health care systemsto deal with the epidemic, according to data released Saturday by the International Diabetes Federation.
Diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot properly store and use fuel for energy. The fuel that your body needs is called glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose comes from foods such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables. To use glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is made by a gland in your body called the pancreas. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a heterogeneous clinical disorder with numerous causes. Two main classifications of diabetes mellitus exist, idiopathic and secondary.
Idiopathic diabetes is divided into two main types; insulin dependent and non-insulin-depenedent. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM (Type 1) is defined by the development of ketoacidosis in the absence of insulin therapy. Type 1 diabetes most often manifests in childhood (hence also called juvenile onset diabetes) and is the result of an autoimmune destruction of the b-cells of the pancreas. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM (Type 2) is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia but rarely leads to ketoacidosis. Type 2 diabetes generally manifests after age 40 and therefore has the obsolete name of adult onset-type diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can result from genetics defects that cause both insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. There are two main forms of type 2 diabetes:
1. Late onset associated with obesity.
2. Late onset not associated with obesity.
Sample meal plan
Choose foods you like and which satisfy you, and include carbohydrate foods in each meal or snack to help manage blood glucose levels. You can eat your main meal at lunch or dinner.
Get help immediately if Diabetes symptoms occur
Occasionally, the onset of diabetes – particularly Type 1 – can be abrupt. It can lead to a condition called ‘keto acidosis’, which is a medical emergency. The symptoms of this condition are loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, excessive passing of urine, altered consciousness and, finally, coma. Seek medical help immediately if these symptoms occur.
Diabetes has slowly crept into the lives of almost eleven million Americans who have diabetes and are aware they have the illness, and up to seven million Americans who are not aware they have diabetes. Added to this glaring number of diabetes-stricken Americans are the millions more who are in the prediabetes stage.
People with diabetes have more chances of surviving the illness if they know how to manage diabetes and they have the financial means to support the medication and other supplies required by people with diabetes.
Getting Type 1 diabetes is usually dependent on you genes although it is not a very strong risk factor. Obesity and age are however risk factors in getting Type 2 diabetes. But no matter how old you are, if you are obese and have a history of gestational diabetes, have one or both parents with Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, then it is best to have yourself checked for diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is commonly found in children while Type 1.5 diabetes is the name given to diabetes found in adults. Adults with Type 1.5 diabetes is characterized by a slower attack on the beta cells compared to the vicious attack of beta cells in children with Type 1 diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, the body’s insulin cannot control its blood sugar levels.
There are several ways of testing for diabetes including the glucose test which measures the blood’s glucose level and the oral glucose test. The glucose test is best done after at least 12 hours of fasting.
The main concern for people with diabetes is how to control the level of their blood glucose in such a way that they can lessen diabetes-related complications. Thus, monitoring of one’s blood glucose level is always a must for people with diabetes. Controlling the blood glucose level means choosing the type of food you eat and taking the proper medication.
A person who wants to be in control of his diabetes should have all the necessary supplies on hand whether he stays in the house or he travels. A diabetic should always make sure that his insulin supply is not exposed to extreme changes in temperature. A diabetic is also more prone to foot problems so he should take care of his feet by using comfortable socks.
Other important diabetic supplies include blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, glucose tablets and gels.
If you have diabetes, make sure that you have your supplies wherever you go. Also inform your housemates or officemates about the possible stores where they can buy these supplies in case you have an emergency. Always scout for stores that sell supplies for diabetics near your home or office or where you frequently go. And if you have to travel, make sure you carry more than enough because you never know what might happen. Also check if the places you will go to have some shops which sell the supplies you need.