Monday, February 9, 2015

Health Care and Diabetes

One of the fastest growing health issues worldwide is diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes today lose more than a decade of life to the chronic disease, despite improved treatment of both diabetes and its complications, a new Scottish study reports. Men with type 1 diabetes lose about 11 years of life expectancy compared to men without the disease. And, women with type 1 diabetes have their lives cut short by about 13 years, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 Glucose (blood sugar) is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, according to the Mayo Clinic. It's also your brain's main source of fuel. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the causes may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.

Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include pre-diabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered. More info about this health topic is available at this website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/basics/definition/con-20033091 .

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Much more detailed information can be found at this website: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-1/ .

However, type 1 diabetics younger than 50 are dying in large numbers from conditions caused by issues in management of the disease -- diabetic coma caused by critically low blood sugar, and ketoacidosis caused by a lack of insulin in the body. These conditions really reflect the day-to-day challenge that people with type 1 diabetes continue to face, how to get the right amount of insulin delivered at the right time to deal with your blood sugar levels, according to the study. 

A second study, also in JAMA, suggested that some of these early deaths might be avoided with intensive blood sugar management. Strict control of blood sugar appears to be key. Life expectancy lost for people under 50 is due to diabetes management-related complications like diabetic coma or ketoacidosis, a condition in which the body suffers from high levels of poisonous acids called ketones. These ketones are created when the body burns fat for energy, because low insulin levels are preventing the conversion of blood sugar into fuel. More details can be found at this site: http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/scottish-study-finds-substantially-shorter-life-expectancy-for-patients-with-type-1-diabetes/ .

Also,  people with diabetes are less likely to take their diabetes medications if they've been diagnosed with cancer, researchers report in Diabetologia. This study revealed that the medication adherence among users of [blood sugar-lowering drugs] was influenced by cancer diagnosis. Cancer patients with diabetes are also much more likely to die than those without diabetes, and part of that might be explained by the decline in medication adherence, according to the study. More information about this particular diabetes health issue is located at this website: http://www.diabetologia-journal.org/ .

Although it is a common practice to try pills before insulin if you are diabetic, you may start on insulin based on several factors. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pancreas. Many people with diabetes are prescribed insulin, either because their bodies do not produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or do not use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes), according to the American Diabetes Association.

There are more than 20 types of insulin sold in the United States. These insulins differ in how they are made, how they work in the body, and how much they cost. Your doctor will help you find the right type of insulin for your health needs and your lifestyle. For more details on this medicine and how it should be administered, visit this website: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/.

Type 2 diabetes can have a slow onset, and early symptoms can be confused with signs of stress, being overweight, or a poor diet. But the arsenal of tools to combat diabetes grows every year. Diabetes affects 24 million people in the U.S., but only 18 million know they have it. About 90% of those people have type 2 diabetes, according to Health.com. In diabetes, rising blood sugar acts like a poison.

Diabetes is often called the silent killer because of its easy-to-miss symptoms. The best way to pick up on it is to have a blood sugar test. But if you have these symptoms, see your doctor.
If Also, if you need to urinate frequently—particularly if you often have to get up at night to use the bathroom—it could be a symptom of diabetes.

The kidneys kick into high gear to get rid of all that extra glucose in the blood, hence the urge to relieve yourself, sometimes several times during the night. The excessive thirst means your body is trying to replenish those lost fluids. These two symptoms go hand in hand and are some of your body's ways of trying to manage high blood sugar.

Overly high blood sugar levels can also cause rapid weight loss, say 10 to 20 pounds over two or three months—but this is not a healthy weight loss. Because the insulin hormone isn't getting glucose into the cells, where it can be used as energy, the body thinks it's starving and starts breaking down protein from the muscles as an alternate source of fuel. The kidneys are also working overtime to eliminate the excess sugar, and this leads to a loss of calories (and can harm the kidneys). For more detailed info on more symptoms, visit this site: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20442821,00.html.

There can be complications in your health caused by diabetes, according to Medical News Today. Here are a few complications linked to badly controlled diabetes:

Eye complications - glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and a few others.

Foot complications - neuropathy, ulcers, and sometimes gangrene which may require amputation.

Skin complications - people with diabetes are more susceptible to skin infections and skin disorders.

Heart problems - such as ischemic heart disease, when the blood supply to the heart muscle is diminished.

Hypertension - common in people with diabetes, which can raise the risk of kidney disease, eye problems, heart attack and stroke.

Mental health - uncontrolled diabetes raises the risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and some other mental disorders.

Neuropathy - diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage which can lead to several different problems.

Stroke - if blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels are not controlled, the risk of stroke significantly increases.

Erectile dysfunction - male impotence.

Infections - people with badly controlled diabetes are much more susceptible to infections

Many presumed "facts" are thrown about in the paper press, magazines and on the internet regarding diabetes; some of them are, in fact, myths. It is important that people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, their loved ones, employers and schools have an accurate picture of the disease. For a more exhaustive overview of information about diabetes, visit this website: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes/ .

Over 25 million men, women, and children currently suffer from diabetes in the country. It is the fastest growing health problem in the US. And, almost 80 million people are considered pre-diabetic. This disease is complicated and often takes time to diagnose, unless the complications are severe. Your doctor or health care provider should run tests to see if your symptoms are conclusive. If you or a loved one has diabetes, don’t ignore your lifestyle regimen. Diabetes can lead to severe medical problems or death when left untreated. Keep your diabetes under control, and you can lead a better life.

Until next time.

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