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Diabetes Overview

Overview and Facts

One of the top causes of illness and death worldwide, diabetes affects many people, regardless of age or race. In the United States alone over 23 million adults and children have diabetes, with many more experiencing pre-diabetic conditions. Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not make enough insulin or no longer responds to the effects of insulin on the body. This condition can contribute to a number of additional health complications such as heart disease, kidney disease and blindness if not properly treated.

Signs and Symptoms

Diabetes symptoms vary in severity depending upon the individual but there are some warning signs of diabetes that patients should not ignore. These symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, especially during the night and blurred vision. Those who experience these signs of diabetes should ask a physician for a diabetes screening, or a pre-diabetes screening.
In diabetes type 1, symptoms often include weight loss, especially sudden weight loss when no diet plan is in place. Excessive thirst may begin and may not be alleviated by proper hydration measures. Dehydration may also occur as a result of excessive thirst and can be serious if treatment is not found. This dehydration may also contribute to weight loss in diabetes type 1 patients.
In diabetes type 2, the most common form of diabetes, patients experience dehydration and bodily damage. Diabetic comas are also possible symptoms in type 2 and are considered to be a serious and life threatening condition. These comas occur when a type 2 diabetic becomes dehydrated and is unable to replenish the lost fluids.

Causes and Diagnosis

Diet is one of the primary causes of diabetes for many individuals. This may be caused by excessive consumption of fats, carbohydrates and sugars in the diet. This may contribute to obesity, which is also known to contribute to the formation of diabetes in patients. Obesity is one of the leading factors in developing diabetes mellitus, especially in patients over the age of 40. It is also thought that hereditary may contribute to diabetic conditions, or make family members more susceptible.
Diagnosis diabetes and pre-diabetes is given by a physician after performing several tests. These tests will measure blood sugar levels and kidney function. Blood and oral tests may also be performed to measure how well the condition has been managed, or to check patient’s vitals in order to determine diabetic conditions.

Tests and Treatments

Tests for diabetes mellitus often include blood and urine testing to check levels for blood sugar and kidney functions in patients. Once these tests have been performed, a physician will make a diagnosis of either diabetes type 1 or diabetes type 2.
Treatments for diabetes and diabetes symptoms often include insulin management. Patients must check blood sugar levels frequently in order to know their blood sugar levels. Some may require insulin shots to manage their condition while others may use an oral medication. Other treatments for diabetes may include losing weight if the patient is obese, or quitting smoking if the patient is a smoker. Many physicians recommend making such changes to help manage signs of diabetes in pre-diabetic patients as well. Some herbal remedies may be suggested, or changes to diet in order to manage diabetes.

Tips and Home Remedies

For patients whose diabetes has been caused through obesity or poor diet, or those who are facing pre-diabetic conditions, making changes can help to improve their condition. One of the first tips for diabetics is to lose excess weight if possible. Obese patients may see a lessening of their condition once their weight is better controlled and may become less dependent on medications to treat their diabetes symptoms. An exercise plan may be recommended by the physician or the patient may seek the help of a personal trainer who works with diabetes mellitus clients.
Dietary changes are often necessary and can help individuals with their home treatment for diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 conditions. This may include adopting a different style of eating such as vegetarian cuisine or a lower carbohydrate meal plan. These dietary recommendations may help to better manage blood sugar levels and prevent dehydration or nutritional deficiencies.
Foot care is often one of the most recommended home remedies for diabetes. As diabetes can reduce blood flow to the feet, it is important for patients to maintain proper foot care to prevent complications or damage. Feet should be checked daily for cracks, blisters or redness and carefully dried after bathing. Socks designed for diabetics should be worn if possible to help prevent any damage to the foot or nerves.

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