Diabetes, or sugar diabetes as it is sometimes called, is a common human disease. Diabetes is a condition in which the body tissues do not utilize glucose normally. Certain cells of the pancreas, known as islet cells, secrete the hormone insulin. Insulin delivered by the blood to all of the body tissues, is necessary for absorption and utilization of glucose by the cells. Failure of the islet cells to secrete the normal amount of insulin results in varying degrees of diabetes. There is also evidence, that charges in the body chemistry of some people reduces the action of insulin in the tissues even though the islet cells are secreting the normal amount.
The cause of diabetes is not known. However, statistics show that it must be considered an inherited condition in most cases. Diabetes may occur at any age, although it appears most frequently between the ages of 40 and 60. Diabetes in children and young adults is usually severe and is due to deficiency or complete failure of the pancreas to secrete insulin. In older people, the onset of diabetes is often gradual and may be present for several years before symptoms are noticeable.
Many factors complicate diabetes. The thyroid. Adrenal and pituitary glands may be involved, resulting in a hormone imbalance. Overweight, improper diet, infections, worry, and nervous tension aggravate the condition. Thus, the cause, effect, and management of diabetes are complicated. Cure of the condition is rare, but control is possible is nearly all cases.
How To Detect Diabetes?
The symptoms of a severe case of diabetes are loss of weight, hunger, thirst, and tiredness especially after meals, and frequent urination. In cases of uncontrolled, severe diabetes, arteriosclerosis and accompanying circulation problems in the feet and legs may occur. Blood-vessel changes in severe diabetes may also cause retinal damage and blurred vision.
Moderate and severe diabetes may be detected by the presence of sugar in the urine. This is determined by chemical test kits or chemically treated paper tapes, which show color changes in the presence of varying amounts of sugar in the urine. However, mild diabetes often shows sugar in the urine. A blood sugar test is far more reliable in detecting even mild diabetes. Normally, the blood should contain from 80 to 120 mg of glucose per 100 cc after a meal rich in carbohydrates. A blood sugar content of more than 140 mg per 100 cc of blood is indicative of diabetes.
How To Control Diabetes?
- Most young diabetes requires insulin injections from the start. When the condition appears later in life, the doctor may outline many other factors.
- A reducing diet and weight loss often improve the condition.
- In recent years, several oral preparations have been developed for the control of mild diabetes. These tablets are not substitute of insulin. Ion more severe diabetes, oral preparations may be given in addition to the injections of insulin.
- In all cases, diet is an important part of the management of diabetes. A diabetic diet should be low in carbohydrates and proportionally higher in fats.
- Artificial sweeteners should be substituted for sugar. Candy and sweetened soft drinks should be avoided. In moderate or severe diabetes, a dietician should be consulted in planning varied, properly balanced meals.
Effects of Diabetes on Married Life
Diabetic Diet Therapy
Diabetes in Children