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Diabetes Mellitus

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Whether it is yourself, a loved one, or anyone else, you might have a hard time believing and accepting that you, or they, have diabetes. You may feel


Scared   Shocked   Angry   Overwhelmed    Confused    Sad


This is normal and most people feel these emotions when they find out they have diabetes.  Be sure to share these feelings with your loved ones & support structure that surrounds you, remember you’re not alone, and don’t worry, there is great hope.  With careful management of this disorder, people can live long healthy lives that are very fulfilled, granted they remain committed their well-being.


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Be advised that internet sources of health information should be considered additional, not a substitute for consultation from qualified health professionals.  Before instituting any major changes to your diet, lifestyle, physical activity, medicines, or supplements, please talk with a health professional so there may be proper monitoring of progress or adverse effects.



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diabetes  n. – any disorder of metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large volumes of urine. 


diabetes mellitus - (the most common form of the disease) is a disorder in which blood levels of glucose (a simple sugar created by the metabolism or the body’s process of breaking down of carbohydrates, i.e. fruits, vegetables, grains) are abnormally high because the body doesn't release or use insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) adequately.  The oxidation or metabolism of these sugars from carbohydrates is the major source of energy for the human body.


Doctors often use the full name diabetes mellitus, rather than diabetes alone, to distinguish this disorder from diabetes insipidus, a relatively rare disease.


Blood sugar (glucose) levels vary throughout the day, rising after a meal and returning to normal within 2 hours. Blood sugar levels are normally between 70 and 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood in the morning after an overnight fast. They are usually lower than 120 to 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating foods or drinking liquids containing sugar or other carbohydrates.  Normal levels tend to increase slightly but progressively after age 50, especially in people who are sedentary.


Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas, is the primary substance responsible for maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels. Insulin allows glucose to be transported into cells so that they can produce energy or store the glucose until it's needed. The rise in blood sugar levels after eating or drinking stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, preventing a greater rise in blood sugar levels and causing them to fall gradually. Because muscles use glucose for energy, blood sugar levels can also fall during physical activity.


Type 1 diabetes, no one knows what causes type 1 diabetes, but it is known that it occurs when the pancreas (a gland needed in the digestive process) no longer produces any or very little insulin. The body needs insulin to use sugar obtained from food for energy. Approximately 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not use the insulin that is produced effectively. 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.


Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects two to four percent of all pregnancies with an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.


Diabetes is a leading cause of death by disease worldwide. If not recognized or improperly managed, the high levels of blood glucose (sugar) can slowly damage both the small and large blood vessels in the body, possibly resulting in many serious health complications such as heart disease, which is two to four times more common in people with diabetes than without, it is also a leading cause of adult blindness & kidney disease.  At least 50% of all limb amputations not due to traumatic injury are due to diabetes, and diabetes is now considered to be a major cause of erectile dysfunction (male sexual organ problems).


With careful management, these complications can be delayed and even prevented. The first step in preventing the onset of these complications is recognizing the signs & symptoms that may indicate you have diabetes.


Risk Factors


Some of the risk factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes are:

age 45 or over,

overweight (especially around your abdomen or belly),

member of a higher-risk group (Aboriginal peoples, Hispanic, Asian or African),

have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes,

have given birth to a baby that weighed over 4 kg (9 lbs) at birth, or have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy),

high cholesterol or other fats in the blood,

higher-than-normal blood glucose levels,

high blood pressure or heart disease.


It is recommended to have routine screening every three years for everyone age 45 or over and screening every year for individuals with other risk factors.


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