Everyone in my Family
BY LG - December 22, 2012
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic condition in which the pancreas has a faulty metabolism of carbohydrates (glucose).
The pancreas is the organ responsible for insulin release, more specifically the B-cells within the pancreas. Insulin is necessary in order to live. The two most common forms of Diabetes Mellitus are Type I and Type II.
Type I Diabetes: usually requires the use of insulin injections. It may be diagnosed under the age of 40. It is also one of the most common chronic childhood illnesses. In Type I diabetes, the B-cells are destroyed via an autoimmune process of unknown origin.
Type II Diabetes: does not initially require the use of insulin injections but as the disease progresses insulin injections may be necessary in addition to oral medication. It affects people in their middle age and older and is also more likely in the overweight adult population. Type II diabetes is caused by decreased B-cell activity and /or insulin resistance.
Once insulin is released by the pancreas, glucose can then be utilized by the body.
Symptoms: *these symptoms are not exclusive to diabetes, only most common.
• Excessive Thirst
• Increased Urination
• Unusual Fatigue
• Unexplained Weight loss
• Excessive Hunger
• Blurred vision
Diagnosis of diabetes is done with a fasting glucose which is a blood test you take when you have not eaten for 24 hours. Normal fasting glucose is 70-100mg/dl. Anything above this is considered abnormal.
Treatment: of Type II diabetes involves weight loss, diet, exercise, and oral medication. The decrease in weight improves the body’s use of insulin and may even cause increased insulin release. Oral medication works in four different ways:
1. Increase insulin availability
2. Decrease glucose release from the liver.
3. Improve insulin use.
4. Delay glucose absorption with the gastrointestinal system.
Complications of Diabetes:
• Kidney Disease
• Eye Damage
• Heart Disease
• Damage to the nervous system
Although there is no cure, with the proper medication, diet maintenance of ideal weight and exercise one can live a long, productive life, despite diabetes.
Is there someone in your family who has been diagnosed with diabetes? Is diabetes hereditary? Is diabetes a trait that can pass from one generation to the next? These are common questions about diabetes, a metabolic disorder. The short answer is yes, diabetes is a genetic disorder, and so if one or both parents have it, you are more at risk. However, a family member with diabetes only increases your risk; it does not necessitate you will definitely have it. There are other risk factors, such as diet, lifestyle and obesity that are also risk factors.
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