11/17/2008Q: What is diabetes?
A: Diabetes is a disabling condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal. The majority of food that we consume is converted into glucose, or sugar, for use by our body for energy. When a person has the disabling condition of diabetes, either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin produced by the body is not used as well as it should. This causes the level of sugar in your blood to build up.
Q: What are the health effects of diabetes?
A: There are serious health complications which can be caused by diabetes including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is also the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes?
A: Some of the more prominent symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, extreme hunger, sudden loss of vision, and a feeling of fatigue.
Q: What are the types of diabetes?
A: There are three prominent types of diabetes.
- Type 1, or juvenile-onset, diabetes takes place when the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas which create insulin, leaving patients reliant on synthesized insulin for the remainder of their lives.
- Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes takes place when the body becomes resistant to insulin and eventually ceases production of a suitable amount.
- Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition which takes place during pregnancy. Though temporary, if it goes untreated, it can lead to problems for mothers and babies. It will typically disappear after pregnancy.
A: For Type 1, healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies. Those who suffer from type 1 diabetes must closely monitor their blood glucose levels through frequent testing of the blood glucose. For Type 2, healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic treatments. Many people who suffer from type 2 diabetes also require oral medication, insulin, or both in order to control their blood glucose levels.
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