Diabetes is a chronic condition which is typified by a distorted metabolism and raised levels of blood sugar which lead to reduced levels of insulin. The symptoms of diabetes can look very much like those of a host of other conditions and the disease can therefore go undiagnosed for years. Screening for this particular condition is important because early diagnosis and treatment greatly improve the quality of life for those who have this condition.
There are 2 key types of diabetes which those people who are unfamiliar with the disease generally find it hard to separate and these are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of pancreatic beta cells which itself is caused by an auto-immune attack. It cannot be prevented and accounts for about 10 percent of all cases of diabetes (or more accurately diabetes mellitus) in North America and Europe. Type 1 diabetes is found in children and adults and is often referred to as juvenile diabetes.
This form of diabetes can be treated successfully by monitoring levels of blood glucose and adding insulin to the body. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can require supplementary insulin and diabetic coma or death can follow if there is a rapid drop in insulin.
Aside from administering insulin, the best form of management for type 1 diabetes is a program of diet and exercise. Individuals with this disease must know their glucose level and be sure that insulin is replaced by injection or use of an insulin pump.
Type 2 diabetes is different from the type 1 form of this disease because it occurs as a result of insulin resistance or a sensitivity to insulin combined with the body’s reduced insulin production. This form of diabetes is common in people who are obese, are advanced in age, have a family history and who do not exercise.
People with type 1 diabetes must use medication because their bodies can no longer create insulin. Type 2 diabetics however have a few different options when it comes to keeping their condition under control. Exercise and diet may well be enough to control type 2 diabetes but oral medication and insulin can also be included in treatment.
There are several different treatment options available but the most important part of the treatment equation is the patient. This may well be a chronic disease but that does not mean that it is a lost cause and there are various ways in which you can keep your body in good health when you are suffering from diabetes. Indeed, the diabetic himself or herself is the key player in the fight against the side effects of this unfortunately all too common condition.
October 18 2007 day 6 -Testing 1..2..3..4..5..
Image by DeathByBokeh
Testing blood glucose has gotten a lot easier these days. Blood glucose meters, or glucometers, require a tiny bit of blood to be applied on a testing strip, and compute the results in five seconds. However, the cost of testing strips makes it very difficult for most diabetics to test often. Ideally, a diabetic must test before a meal, and two hours after. Type 1 diabetics, who develop the disease because of an auto-immune reaction, must also test before, during and after intense physical activity. With test strips costing about each, a majority of diabetics cannot test more than 4 times a day. Health insurance companies also don’t approve more than 100 strips a month, with some approving 200 strips a month. Very few health insurance companies cover testing supplies to support testing 10 to 12 times a day. Diabetics end up spending out of pocket to ensure that they can test 8 to 12 times a day, if not more. The blood glucose meter/testing strip companies use the "Gillette" model to rake in the profits. They pretty much give away the meter, and make a ton of money on the strips, much like Gillette does with its razors and blades.
There is no cure for diabetes, yet.
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