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Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus is described by HealthRiight.com as a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce enough insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose comes from food and is used by the cells for energy. Glucose is also made in the liver. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy needed for body processes.
With Type 1 diabetes, the body does not make any insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin properly. Without enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and causes a condition called hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels. Diabetes is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. The disease often leads to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage. Uncontrolled diabetes can complicate pregnancy, and birth defects are more common in babies born to women with diabetes. Pregnant women can temporarily develop gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that begins late in pregnancy.
TYPES OF DIABETES
Pre-diabetes: Individuals with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. This condition raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body's immune system that fights infection begins to attack a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces no insulin. An individual with type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily for proper blood sugar control.
Type 2 diabetes: The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90-95% of individuals with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy), physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80% of individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise, and oral prescription medications but may require insulin shots.
Gestational diabetes: Some women develop gestational diabetes late in pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually disappears after the birth of the baby, women who have had gestational diabetes have a 20-50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years. Maintaining a reasonable body weight and being physically active may help prevent development of gestational diabetes turning into type 2 diabetes. TREATMENT
Treatment for diabetes is a lifelong commitment of monitoring blood sugar, taking insulin if prescribed, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. The goal is to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible to delay or prevent complications. In fact, tight control of blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of diabetes-related heart attacks and strokes by more than 50%. Medications:
Insulin and oral medications: Many individuals with diabetes can manage their blood sugar with diet and exercise alone, but some need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. In addition to diabetes medications, a doctor might prescribe low-dose aspirin therapy to help prevent heart and blood vessel disease. Aspirin prevents blood from clotting by blocking the production of thromboxane A-2, a chemical that platelets produce that causes them to clump. Aspirin accomplishes this by inhibiting the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-1 (COX-1) that produces thromboxane A-2. Many oral or injected medications can be used to treat type 2 diabetes....
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