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Diabetes could either be Gestational, pre-diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2. The diagnosis process involves measuring the glucose level in the blood using various techniques such as A1C test, oral glucose tolerance test, and random glucose test. People suffering from the disease will report symptoms such as Dried or itchy skin, blurred vision, frequent urination, and fatigue. Among the factors that cause the disease are smoking, alcohol, stress, genetically factors, and hypertension. The high or low level of glucose in the blood can result in death if a patient does not seek medical attention. Once diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a patient lives with it until death. It is therefore advisable for pre-diabetic persons to eat healthy food and exercise daily.
Keywords: Diabetes, Glucose, Mellitus, Pancreas, Diagnosis, Polydipsia, Polyphagia.
Diabetes is a disease that alters the glucose level in the blood in all ages although older people are more vulnerable. The raised glucose level in blood can be caused either by a low production of insulin in the body or an inability of the cells to effectively respond to insulin (Schwartz et al. 650). In older patients, the disease increases the chances of developing cardiovascular complications, hence reducing functionality and mortality in this age group. The essay will profoundly scrutinize diabetes through the focus on causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and coping mechanisms. Understanding the nature of diabetes helps to prevent the disease and come up with the best solutions to help improve the lives of the people affected.
There are different causes of each type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body system’s fight against infection, an activity that affects the pancreas’ beta cells responsible for the production of insulin (Melton 70). Other factors are genes as well environmental factors like viruses. Type 2 diabetes is the most common caused by genes and lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, which causes problems such being overweight or obese. The excess weight is associated with the increased insulin resistance and therefore important to constantly monitor the Body Mass Index. Type 1 diabetes increases the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, which has different trends among different racial and ethnic groups such as the America Indians, Hispanics and African Americans. Gestational diabetes is caused by lifestyle and genetically associated factors that cause insulin resistance. During pregnancy, the placenta releases hormones that increase this resistance hence making the pancreas unable to produce enough insulin. Extra weight has also been associated with gestational diabetes. Genes in the family history that trigger gestational diabetes has mostly been linked to African Americans, Latinas, Asians and American Indians.
Symptoms of the different types of diabetes are almost the same although a diagnosis can be used to determine the exact type. Type 1 diabetes’ symptoms begin manifestation within a period of a few weeks while Type 2 can take several years before the mild symptoms are noticeable. A majority of patients with Type 2 diabetes do not have symptoms until they get other related health problems. Type one diabetes causes polydipsia which refers to an extreme thirst and polyphagia, an increased hunger. Increased urination, technically referred to as polyuria is also an indicator of type 1 diabetes. The inability of the body to uptake glucose increase its concentration in the body, drawing fluid from the body tissues that is excreted in urination. The overall effect of the process is an extreme thirst to compensate the lost water. Reports from various researches have reported that having a cold or flu are among the first symptoms of type 1 diabetes and it is, therefore, advisable to seek immediate medical attention (Melton 71). Other symptoms of this type include changes in vision as a result of changes in the lens caused by swelling, increased appetite and heavy breathing.
Type 2 diabetes is not autoimmune and develops slowly for years making a majority of patients to be insulin resistant. The symptoms of this type are the same as Type 1 diabetes because the overall effect is the increased or excessive glucose in the blood. Because the disease develops gradually, patients stay for a long time without showing symptoms with other showing none, hence the need to be undergoing regular medical check-ups. Frequent urination, extreme thirst, changes in weight, fatigue and changes in vision are among the most common symptoms. Besides, patients report blurred vision and wounds as well as cuts taking long to heal. Men report having erectile dysfunctions that call for the immediate attention of a close health care team.
A common technique used in diagnosis is conducting an A1C blood test. Before the test, the patient is supposed to stay without meals or drinking for 8 hours. The fasting blood sugar is expected to be at most 100mg/dl (Melton 73). An oral glucose tolerance test is also common with both tests preferably done in a laboratory with strict adherence to the requirements approved by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) (Rohlfing et al. 81). Random and fasting glucose tests are the most common and effective techniques. One a person has been confirmed as being diabetic, treatment begins through the incorporation of various methods.
Diabetes has no cure although it can be controlled or treated. The need to conduct the treatment ensures the glucose levels in the blood is close to normal through medication, change in diet and doing exercises. The treat also controls the blood pressure, which should not exceed 130/80 and prevent other opportunistic diseases. Besides, the doctor recommends the treatment because it maintains the level of triglyceride and cholesterol in the body within the right amount and reduces fat by 30% (Mozaffarian 222).
Treating diabetes requires a qualified medical practitioner who can pick the best treatment plan. There are healthcare professionals who work collectively towards the achievement of the treatment such as nutritionists, eye doctors, foot doctors and endocrinologists who are diabetes specialists. Treatment can only be effective if there is an efficient balance between exercise, medication and diet. Observing these three aspects helps to prevent what doctors refer as ‘see saw effects’ caused by the rapid changes in the blood sugar levels (Roberto 23). Diabetes drugs are usually in the form of insulin injections which also incorporates the concept of injecting oneself. Insulin pumps deliver certain amount of the required dose and can take various forms such as rapid-acting, intermediate-acting, ultra-long-acting among other (Thompson et al. 575).
Doctors recommend eating a balanced diet and if possible visit a dietitian for advice on the right menu to keep the glucose levels in check. Diet is more important when managing type one diabetes because the dosage should strictly follow the meal types. How much and when to eat are important factors to consider and doctors have recommended three meals and at least three snacks in a day. The meals should be of the right type to maintain the required balance of glucose in the blood. How much to eat depends on important factors such as personal preference and weight. For obese patients, it is necessary to ensure there is a low intake of starch. Besides, saturated fats should not make up more than 7% of the meals to be taken (Schwartz et al. 650).
Treatment plans also corporate exercises with the right program coming from a doctor's advise. Exercises are essential in boosting the effectiveness of insulin use in the body. It is advisable to have a snack composed of carbohydrate before engaging in the exercises or any other recommended physical activity (Roberto 24). In case there are signs of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar when carrying out the activity, it is advisable to take a break, preferably 15 minutes (Ranasinghe et al. 175). Diabetes lowers the chances of developing a heart attack. The improved circulation of blood further prevents the patient from stroke and relieves stress. Researches have also recommended strength training at least two times in a week although this should be approved by a doctor (Ranasinghe et al.176).
Coping with diabetes is an easy process that first requires acceptance and the willingness to follow the medical advice. Patients should plan what to eat and engage in frequent exercises. It is also advisable to constantly check the levels of glucose in the blood to keep the pressure at the right level. Regardless of how well an individual might be feeling, regular appointments with qualified health care professionals are recommended. Patients should never opt for alternative medicine that emphasize on minerals and vitamins. Although they might be convinced by past researches linking chromium with a positive effect on insulin effectiveness, the supplements should never be taken as alternatives to the prescribed drugs. Recently, there is an increased attention to alternative medicine such as Ayurveda, with the specialist convincing patients that there are alternatives to the western medicine. However, the patients should understand that there are no sufficient scientific researches to prove the effectiveness of these drugs. Although doctors might be far from coming up with a cure for diabetes, the significant achievements made so far are worth recommending because they have improved the healthcare standards.
Melton, Douglas A. "Applied developmental biology: making human pancreatic beta cells for diabetics." Current topics in developmental biology. Vol. 117. Academic Press, 2016. 70-74.
Mozaffarian, Dariush. "Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity: a comprehensive review." Circulation 133.2 (2016): 222.
Ranasinghe, C., et al. "Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of supervised resistance training versus aerobic training in Sri Lankan adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: SL-DART study." BMC public health 18.1 (2018): 175-176..
Roberto, Christina A., et al. "The influence of sugar-sweetened beverage health warning labels on parents’ choices." Pediatrics 137.2 (2016): 23.
Rohlfing, Curt, et al. "Effects of hemoglobin C, D, E and S traits on measurements of
hemoglobin A1c by twelve methods." Clinica Chimica Acta 455 (2016): 81.
Schwartz, Stanley S., et al. "A unified pathophysiological construct of diabetes and its complications." Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 28.9 (2017): 650.
Thompson, Bithika M., Patricia A. Mackey, and Curtiss B. Cook. "Management of Insulin Pumps in Hospitalized Patients." Endocrine and Metabolic Medical Emergencies: A Clinician's Guide (2018): 575.
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