Public Awareness and Diabetes
May 9, 2010
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 normally occurs before the age of 20 and is usually diagnosed much younger. Type 2 normally occurs after the age of 45. The reasons patients develop type 1 are not as clear. In type 1 the body does not produce enough insulin, in type 2 the body may either not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin the body produces. In both types the lack of insulin causes blood glucose levels to rise because insulin is not able to help the cells cross over into the cells. It may also occur during pregnancy. Patients with diabetes may suffer with extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme fatigue, and blurred vision. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented whereas Type 1 cannot (WebMD, 2005-2010). What happens in the body?
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Patients with type 1 must use insulin injections or an insulin pump to control their blood sugar and they produce no insulin. Type 1 diabetics comprise a small amount of the total number of diagnose diabetics. Type 2 diabetics comprise between 90%-95% of those who are diagnosed. In type 2 diabetes the body may not produce enough insulin or may not use the insulin adequately. This is called insulin resistance (WebMD, 2005-2010). Risk Factors
Risk factors such as family history cannot be controlled. If a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes it is more likely that a patient may develop it as well. Race is another risk factor that cannot be controlled. Caucasians are more at risk for type 1, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and American Indians are at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes. Family history may also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (WebMD, 2005-2010). The last risk factor that cannot be changed is age. As a patient gets older their risk increases – this could be in part to the fact that most people exercise less and gain weight as they get older (WebMD, 2005-2010). Risk factors that can be controlled relate mostly to type 2. One of these is weight – if a patient has more fatty tissue, their cells become more resistant to insulin. Inactivity also poses a risk. Physical activity helps make cells more sensitive to insulin, use glucose as energy and help control a patients’ weight (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). Certain medical conditions increase the risk of diabetes these include polycystic ovary syndrome and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of problems that included high triglycerides, high cholesterol and high blood pressure). Smoking can also increase a patient’s risk for diabetes type 2 (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). Treatment Option
Patients with type 1 are always treated with insulin. This has usually been given in the form of injections but more recently patients have been able to receive an insulin pump. Patients who have type 1 have also been able to be treated with islet cell transplants. The islet cells are found in the pancreas and make insulin. In severe cases of type 1, some patients have received pancreas transplants. This is not the standard form of treatment and has most often occurred when the patient is also having a kidney transplant for diabetic kidney disease. More research is needed in this area but so far results have been promising. Patients are also treated with a diabetic diet and exercise (Web MD, 2005-2010). Patients with type 2 diabetes have seen many changes over the last few years. Diabetic diets, exercise and weight control are still the treatment of choice but diabetes medications are now available (WEB MD, 2005-2010). Currently there are several diabetes medications available and each one works differently. Sulfonylurea nedications work by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin and this lowers the patient’s blood sugar levels. Biguanides improve insulin’s ability to...
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