November is National Diabetes Awareness Month Patty Melody, M.A. Health and Physical Education Instructor
What’s New? The American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are now using the term “pre-diabetes”. This term is used to describe blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet diagnosed with diabetes.
Pre-diabetes If you do not take action pre-diabetes will develop into diabetes within 10 years. The state of being pre-diabetic is already increasing your risk for heart disease significantly.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by the body’s inability to control chemical processes. The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin properly. Insulin is the hormone secreted by the islet cells of the pancreas that is necessary for the utilization of glucose. If the insulin is not secreted or used effectively by the cells, glucose levels continue to rise in the blood stream thereby not fulfilling the body’s primary energy needs. The body therefore “thinks” it is starving. This leads to a variety of short-term and long-term medical complications which will be discussed.
Type 1: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)
The islet cells of the pancreas does not produce insulin. Usually the onset of this form of diabetes occurs before age 35 (generally during childhood). Destruction of the islet cells by the immune system may be caused by a viral infection within the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is more serious than type 2 with sudden, irreversible consequences.
Type 2: Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)
Insulin is produced by the islet cells of the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes the insulin receptors on the cells become less sensitive to insulin. This disruption of the body’s system of “checks and balances” in relation to glucose levels causes the blood glucose levels to rise (hyperglycemia). Inactivity and obesity have been correlated to type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle management during pre-diabetes can reverse the onset of diabetes.