The spread of diabetes in America
Diabetes is a condition that affects much more than just your sugar habit. In the United States, the disease is running rampant among adults and increasing amounts of children. The disease is so common, that the American Diabetes Association claims that more than 6 million people have diabetes and don’t even know it. The statistics are disturbing, but with early detection and treatment, the disease can be managed.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes deals with the body’s response to blood glucose levels in regards to the production or utilization of insulin. The two main types of diabetes you or someone in your family may come in contact with, includes:
Type 1 Diabetes: Through the millions of diabetic patients in the United States, there is an estimated 5-10% that suffer from this form of the disease. While Type 1 can affect people of all ages, mostly children, adolescents and young adults develop this kind of diabetes. It is said that about one in every 500 children and adolescents in the United States already has or will have Type 1 diabetes in the future .
Type 2 Diabetes: This type of diabetes is chronic and hinders the way that the body metabolizes glucose (sugar). Through Type 2 diabetes, the body starts to reject the effects of insulin, which is a hormone needed for the regulation of sugar cell absorption. Some Type 2 diabetics might produce some insulin, but not enough to create a normal level of glucose . When this condition is left untreated, life-threatening results may occur.
There are many symptoms associated with diabetes, and depending on the type you suffer from, you may experience one or more of the following:
a) Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination: One of the most telling signs of diabetes is an urgency to keep drinking fluids. As your kidneys work overtime to filter and absorb the amount of sugar that builds up in the body, increased urination occurs. Through all of this, dehydration sets in, leading you into a vicious cycle of quenching your thirst, and the need to release yourself in the process.
b) Flu-Like Symptoms: The fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite associated with the flu may also present itself with diabetes because your body is unable to utilize sugar in order to gain energy.
c) Weight Loss or Gain: Changes in weight often occur through the presence of diabetes. Weight loss occurs because as you lose sugar through frequent urination, you will also lose calories. The other side of the weight issue is gaining extra pounds because cells become deprived of nutrients, leading to a feeling of constant hunger. As you eat more to compensate, an increase of fatty tissue develops .
d) Blurred Vision: The eyes show signs of diabetes as high levels of blood sugar rob eye lenses of much-needed fluid. When ignored, blood vessels become damaged and can lead to dark spots, flashing lights or rings. Serious cases may also lead to blindness.
e) Slow-Healing: High levels of blood sugar can affect the natural healing process and the body’s defense against infections. Diabetes may also cause bladder or vaginal infections in women.
f) Tingling Hands and Feet: Nerve damage may develop as a result of diabetes, which leads to a tingling or loss of sensation in the hands or feet. Sometimes, a burning pain may attack the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
g) Gum Problems: Diabetes may cause gums to become red, swollen, and tender.
Causes of Diabetes
The causes of this condition depend on what type of diabetes you are suffering from. With Type 1 diabetes, the body has little to no insulin because the immune system attacks the cells responsible for producing the hormone. It is believed that heredity; diet and nutrition all contribute to the development of Type 1. With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin, but either one or two issues arise: the muscles and body tissue may resist the presence of insulin or the pancreas simply doesn’t make enough. Researchers are unaware what makes the cells resistant to insulin, but weight, laziness, and fatty tissues contribute.
A random blood sugar test and a fasting blood glucose test both determine whether or not a person has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Blood is drawn from the arm to test your glucose levels at any given time (random) or after an overnight fast. In addition to the two blood tests, Type 2 diabetes is also made known through a glucose challenge test (often used for pregnant women) or a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test.
While the definite cause regarding Type 1 diabetes is not known, there are some details that increase the risk of developing the disease. This includes having a family member, such as a diabetic parent or sibling. People who are overweight, inactive, or depressed are more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Individuals over the age of 45 are also likely to develop the disease, but throughout the years, a higher number of children, adolescents and younger adults have been seen. Race also affects your chances of suffering from diabetes, where some ethnic groups are more prone to certain types than others.
Natural Remedies for Diabetes
Natural remedies allow individuals to find gentler, safer, and sometimes more effective treatment options for their condition. Below are a few natural approaches towards treating diabetes:
a) Fenugreek: This herb has been known to cut down sugar levels in urine by half. Making a decoction or taking 1 gram of powdered herb after meals treats mental confusion, weight loss, and excessive thirst.
b) Bilberry: The leaves of this herb are thought to increase the production of insulin when drinking an infusion before meals.
c) Goat’s Rue: The aerial parts of this herb react with the pancreas to encourage production of insulin. Preparing an infusion or tincture before meals can treat the symptoms of diabetes.
d) Mango: Boiling 15 fresh mango leaves in one glass of water will create a natural treatment for diabetes. After mixing the ingredients, leave the combination overnight. At the start of a new day, filter the water and drink first thing in the morning.
For many, diabetes is highly preventable. It really comes down to incorporating healthy habits and lifestyle changes to avoid the onset of this manageable, yet frustrating disease. Below you will find a few preventive measures to consider:
a) Lose Extra Pounds: Sometimes diabetes prevention is just as easy as keeping your weight to a healthy number. With every pound you lose, your health improves. Try making it a habit to eat better and exercise on a regular basis. When it comes to losing weight, avoiding fad diets is the healthiest approach towards preventing diabetes. Cooking foods with less fat, oil, and butter also help shed extra weight.
b) Fiber: Many reduce their risk of diabetes when they eat fiber-filled foods, which also decrease the chances of developing heart disease. Some of the foods to consider adding to your diet include vegetables, fruits, and other lean food items.
c) Whole Grains: When eating grains, it is the whole variety that contributes to the decrease in developing diabetes. A few eating habits to change include trading white bread for wheat, or consuming whole-grain pastas and cereals.
d) Increase Exercise: When you get the body moving around, not only is weight lost, but also the overall your overall health improves. Physical activity contributes to the lowering of blood sugar levels. Riding a bike, swimming laps, or walking for 30 minutes per day will increase your levels of exercise.
Monday, July 23, 2007
The spread of diabetes in America