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Diabetes - Some Helpful Facts


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Join America's Diabetic Savings Club with other Diabetics across America In receiving outstanding money saving opportunities

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Diabetes - Some Helpful Facts

  1. 1. ==== ====Join Americas Diabetic Savings Club with other Diabetics across America In receiving outstandingmoney saving opportunities ====INTRODUCTIONAccording to the World Health Organization, a few decades back diabetes was an uncommondisease, in both developed and developing countries. Today, the story is different. It is currentlyestimated that over 143million people worldwide are affected by the disease. This figure is everincreasing, by 2020 over 220million people are expected to be living with diabetes, if the currenttrend continues.In the United States alone, there are 18.2 million people (6.3% of the population) living withdiabetes. While another 13million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately,5.2milion (or nearly one third) are unaware that they have the disease.The figure for Nigeria is not readily available, but it is estimated that over 1.5million people havediabetes in Nigeria.In developed countries, most patients of diabetes are over sixty, but in developing countries,diabetes is found to affect people in their prime.WHAT IS DIABETES?Diabetes Mellitus (or simply diabetes) is derived from the Greek word Diabeinein, meaning Topass through describing copious urination, and Mellitus from the Latin word meaning Sweetenedwith honey. These two words signify sweetened urine or sugar in urine.Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use Insulin. Insulin is ahormone that is needed, in the body, to control the rate at which sugar, starch and other food areconverted into glucose required as energy for daily life. The hormone is produced and releasedinto the blood by an organ called Pancreas. This insulin help to maintain the blood glucose levelwithin a normal range. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts this normal range between60 - 100mg/dl (Before taking any food for the day, hence this value is called Fasting BloodGlucose). In health, despite several demands for glucose in different situations, the blood glucoserarely exceeds this value.After a meal the liver stores the glucose from the meal as glycogen and releases it into the bloodin between meals. The role of insulin is the control of this storage and release of glucose. Itensures that the amount of glucose in the blood at every particular time does not go beyond orbelow the normal range.
  2. 2. TYPES OF DIABETES.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), five classes of diabetes are recognized, theseare; Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Type I Diabetes, Non Insulin DependentDiabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Type II Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Diabetes Insipidus andBronze Diabetes.INSULIN DEPENDENT/TYPE I DIABETES: This type of diabetes was initially called Juvenileonset diabetes because it affects adolescents and young adults. It is caused by a sudden failure ofthe pancreas to produce Insulin. It is, therefore, an acute disease, presenting with thirst, polyuria(passing large amount of urine), diuresis and weight loss. Type I diabetes is not common, itaccounts for less than 10% of all diabetes cases.NON-INSULIN DEPENDENT/ TYPE II DIABETES: This is the most prevalent type of diabetes,accounting for more than 80% of all diabetic cases. It is found in adults and the elderly. This typeof diabetes develops gradually over a long period of time (unnoticed) and is characterized byinsufficient insulin, deficient insulin in the blood or the inability of the body to utilize the insulinresent (Insulin resistance). Because of its slow and gradual occurrence, it is mostly undetecteduntil one or more of its long-term complications appear.Unlike in Type I Diabetes, the Insulin in the blood of a Type II diabetic may be normal or evenhigh, but lacks the desired effect, due to insulin resistance, and this is prevalent among obesepeople.GESTATIONAL DIABETES: This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and disappears afterdelivery, within 3weeks. An estimated 3% of all pregnancies are accompanied by gestationaldiabetes and almost half of these patients are prone to developing permanent diabetes later in life.WHAT CAUSES DIABETES.As with hypertension and other non communicable diseases, no clear cut cause(s) can beattributed to the most prevalent type of diabetes (Type II Diabetes, Type I diabetes beingsecondary to failure of the pancreas). However, some factors are known to increase oneschances of becoming diabetic and these are called risk factors. For example, indolent and well-fedpopulations are 2 - 20times more likely to develop type II diabetes than active and lean populationof the same race. Some other factors known to increase one chances of getting diabetes include:OBESITY: It is estimated that three quarter (¾) of all Type II diabetes patient are obese.Indolent and affluent lifestyles tend to contribute to this. It is believed that a 10kg loss of weightcan reduce fasting blood sugar level by almost 50md/dl. An active lifestyle with frequent exerciseis also known to increase Insulin sensitivity.The International standard for measuring overweight and obesity is based on a value called BODYMASS INDEX (BMI). This value is derived by dividing the body weight (in Kilograms) by thesquare of height (in metres).i.e. BMI = Body weight (Kg) / Height2 (Metres).Note: 1ft = 0.305metres.
  3. 3. For adults, a BMI less than 25kg/m2 is preferred.25 - 29kg/m2 is considered overweight and above 30kg/m2 is Obesity.FAMILY HISTORY: A family history of diabetes increases ones chances of getting the disease. Insuch a situation, leading a healthy lifestyle and constant monitoring of ones blood sugar levelbecomes very important.AGE AND RACE: Most Type II diabetes patient are over 40yrs at presentation of the disease.However, the proportion of increase in the incidence of this disease with age is higher for thosewith a family history of diabetes, obese and probably those leading sedentary lifestyles. Moreover,diabetes tends to be more prevalent among Africans, African Americans, Latinos, NativeAmericans and Asian Americans. Belonging to any of the races is a risk factor in itself.HISTORY OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES: in a woman also increases her chances/possibility ofdeveloping permanent diabetes later in life.YOU CAN PREVENT/DELAY DIABETES!Diabetes have no permanent cure once it develops, it is managed al through life. But you canprevent ever falling into this life long pain. Before diabetes present in people, it is almost alwayspreceded by a situation called PRE DIABETES. A situation where the blood glucose is higher thannormal, but not yet enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Saddening, however, you cannot knowwhen you fall into this category, if you have not being monitoring your blood glucose regularly.Pre Diabetes is itself a serious medical situation, though can still be reversed by making changesin diet pattern and increasing physical activity. To determine ones blood sugar a test calledFasting Blood Glucose has to be conducted. This test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) inones blood before taking any meal for the day. It is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).A value below 100mg/dl is generally accepted to be normal, while a value greater than 100mg/dlbut less than 120mg/dl is not full diabetes yet, so it is regarded as Pre diabetes. An individual witha pre diabetes blood glucose level need to take urgent steps to reduce his blood glucose or risklife long diabetes.It should be emphasized, however, that the racial and genetic factors predisposing to diabetes arestill beyond human comprehension and control. It makes common sense, therefore, to reduce allhuman controllable factors to the barest minimum. Most of these factors have to do with socialoccupational and diet habits.The following tips can help reduce your diabetes risk:* Reduce weight. Obesity seems to be the single most significant factor in diabetes. Reducingbody weight and fat and maintaining an average body weight is very essential. To this end a bodymass index (BMI) less than 25kg/m2 for males and less than 24kg/m2 for females isrecommended.* Increase Physical Activity. It is an established fact that diabetes is more common among peoplethat lead a sedentary affluent lifestyle. Simple dynamic exercises like brisk walking for 30-50mins
  4. 4. daily or 3-5times weekly has been shown to be very helpful. Exercise reduces bodyweight and fat,increases functionality of the heart, reduces the chances of diabetes and also boosts emotionsand healthy living.* Cut down or cut out alcohol. Alcoholic intake of more than 2units per day has been shown toadversely affect the body. Alcohol being an addictive drug makes it very difficult to maintain adefinite amount of intake for a long time. It is better therefore to strive to cut out alcoholcompletely.* Avoid Smoking. Cigarette smoke has been shown to contain several poisonous substances.Cigarette smoking and alcohol have been related to several disease. Stopping smoking willdefinitely reduce the chances of several other ailments apart from diabetes.* Lean good eating habits, such as;* Cut down on fatty food and junks* Eat more of fish and poultry (without the skin is better).* Garlic reduces blood pressure cholesterol; add it to your meal plan once in a while.* Cut the number of eggs you take to 3- 4 weekly (better boiled than fried).* Reduce salt intake to less than 5.8grams daily.* Eat more of vegetables and fibre rich food, especially fruits.* Finally, constantly monitor your fasting blood glucose, as this is the only way to know when youare getting into trouble.CONCLUSIONDiabetes and Hypertension being so interlinked requires a comprehensive plan of care, and thisrevolves round ones dietary habits, social and environmental factors. Several lifestyle changeslike regular exercise, maintaining a moderate body weight, reduction of fat intake and high fibrediet all help to live a normal healthy life. These measures are known to increase insulin sensitivityand also reduce blood pressure.Conclusively, it is very important to create a more health conscious individuals in the populace. Apeople who practically believe that it is better and cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat it,when it has become stronger. Moreover, preventive health cannot be divorced from regularmedical checks, as this two go hand in hand. There is no way to detect several non-communicablediseases without undergoing regular medical checks. The importance of these checks cannot beover emphasized.Be alive to your health. Know your Blood glucose values and live a healthier life free from thepains of diabetes.
  5. 5. Mr. Adefemi Kazeem is a graduate of Human Anatomy from a Nigerian University and who wishesto specialize in Public Health, soon. You can contact him by e-mail –;Phone – 234-803-613-6741.Article Source: ====Join Americas Diabetic Savings Club with other Diabetics across America In receiving outstandingmoney saving opportunities ====