6 April 2012
Diabetes is a group of diseases in which there is too much glucose in the blood. The high blood sugar levels are caused either by low levels of the hormone insulin or by resistance to insulin’s effects, plus not enough levels of secreted insulin. Today there are three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. In the first century A.D. a Greek, Aretaeus described the critical nature of the affliction which he named "diabetes" from the Greek word for "siphon." Physicians in ancient times, like Aretaeus, recognized the symptoms of diabetes but were ineffective to effectively treat it. “Aretaeus suggested oil of roses, dates, raw quinces, and gruel. And as late as the 17th century, doctors prescribed jelly of viper's flesh, broken red coral, sweet almonds, and fresh flowers of blind nettles.” [ (Sattely) ] In the 17th century a London physician, Dr. Thomas Willis, decided to taste the urine to see if they had diabetes. If it had a sweet taste, he would diagnose them with diabetes mellitus. In 1935 Roger Hinsworth discovered there were two types of diabetes: "insulin sensitive" (type 1) and "insulin insensitive" (type 2). Type 1 diabetes is the least common. Less that 10% of Americans have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas’ failing to make any insulin. The body’s immune system has destroyed the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes must take injections of insulin to live. Type 2 diabetes is the most common. More than 90% Americans have type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas continues to make insulin, but the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman is pregnant. When a woman is pregnant, their body increases its blood glucose level to cope with the demands of the growing baby and with that you need more insulin. If the body cannot produce enough insulin, the blood glucose level remains high and gestational diabetes is diagnosed. Once a woman has gestational diabetes, they are more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
There are many symptoms of diabetes. Frequent urination, hunger, yeast infections, unexplained weight loss and muscle cramps are some of many. Thirst is also one because high glucose levels make the blood thick and because of fluid loss in the urine. Blurred vision is another symptom because the high blood glucose level causes a shift in concentration of water in the lens of the eyes, blurring their vision. Type 1 diabetes often tends to happen to children and younger, thinner people. Type 1 often occurs during puberty and it ranges from ages 10-14. Type 2 diabetes often tends to happen to overweight, older people. These days, since kids are less active and eat more, their chances have gone up of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can also be hereditary and is also common among certain ethnic groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans. African Americans have twice the rate, Hispanics have three to four times the rate and Native Americans are up to six times the rate of diabetes than White Americans. Women who give birth to a child weighing over nine pounds have a higher risk of diabetes. If one would like to know if they had diabetes, they could just simply ask their doctor for a blood test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning. You will most likely be asked not to eat anything before the test is done. If you were to have diabetes, your blood sugar would be greater than or equal to 180 mg/dl with symptoms of diabetes as well. Living with diabetes is a serious case. Living with type 2 diabetes can risk your chances of getting heart and blood vessel problems. Also, when having type 2 diabetes, your levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are likely to be raised....