The Insulin Disease

Diabetes is all about Insulin and not having enough, not having any, or not being able to use it. Insulin is a hormone. The body uses it to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. The body needs this energy for daily life.

At this time, we still do not know what causes a person to develop diabetes. It is suspected by scientists that the cause lies somewhere in genetics or in a combination of genetics and environmental factors. There does seem to be a link between diabetes and obesity and or lack of exercise.

The disease is a common one with 20.8 million adults and children in the United States alone, having the disease. The sad part is that 6.2 million of them are unaware that they have the disease, which is dangerous because untreated it can cause damage to internal organs, blood vessels and nerves.

The different types of diabetes that you should be aware of are pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Diabetes can be diagnosed with blood tests such as the Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). These two tests can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The FPG is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which an individual’s blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Approximately 54 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is when the body fails to produce insulin. This is an autoimmune disease. Children, teens and youth are typically the ones to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This is a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin and a relative insulin deficiency.

Gestational diabetes occurs in approximately 4% of all pregnant women with 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes happening each year in the United States. It usually develops in the second trimester after the baby has been formed.

Common Risk Factors for diabetes are being over age 45, certain race or ethnic backgrounds (African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders), family history of diabetes, being very overweight compared to your height (Body Mass Index BMI), low physical activity level, high blood pressure, and a history of diabetes during pregnancy.

The common symptoms of diabetes are urinating often, being very thirsty, being very hungry, being more tired than usual, an unexplained weight loss, and blurry vision.

Medical problems associated with having diabetes, especially untreated or uncontrolled diabetes are heart disease, depression, stroke, vision problems, kidney problems, foot and skin problems, and nerve damage.

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