Diabetes

Diabetes

There are 3 main types of diabetes;

-Type 1 Diabetes

-Type 2 Diabetes

-Gestational Diabetes

Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It happens when your pancreas can no longer produce insulin in the body; the immune system is basically wiping out the cells that would produce insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that actually controls the amount of glucose (a form of sugar) in the blood. Since the body is not making insulin, the sugar cannot be moved into the cells and the cells starve leaving the body unable to function probably. Unfortunately right now there is no way to neither prevent nor screen for the development of Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 usually develops in adulthood, due to the body not producing enough insulin or the body not using the insulin properly, although their body is making insulin. Anyone can basically get Type 2 diabetes, but there are people that have a higher risk of developing the disease like people that are obese/overweight and people that have a family member that already has Type 2 diabetes. Also elders are likely of developing Type 2 since their bodies are less able to digest sugars, of course smoking and less active lifestyles are all factors too. There is also a condition called prediabetes, where a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, and if it gets higher than can be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. There are no symptoms for prediabetes, and some of the complications that someone with diabetes gets, could actually start to develop in someone with prediabetes.

Gestational Diabetes usually happens during pregnancy and is a temporary condition. But it does have the risk of developing diabetes in both mother and baby.  

It is important to note that of the people that do have diabetes only 10% have Type 1, which is seen equally in males and females, and about 90% or 1 in 4 Canadians have Type 2 diabetes. Plus the likelihood of Gestational Diabetes is about 2% to 4% of all pregnancies in Canada.

Some sign and symptoms could be the following:

-always being thirst
-urinating a lot
-a change in weight, wither gain or loss
-being really tired or lack of energy
-blurry eye slight
-slowly healing cuts, bruises, infections

-dry mouth
-feeling numbness in hands and feet

Please remember though lots of people show no sign of having Type 2 diabetes.

Now if the person has Type 1 Diabetes, some emergency signs could be:

-shaking
-confusion
-heavy/fast breathing
-abdominal (belly) pain
-breath may have a fruity smell

Here are some risk factors that can increase your chance of developing diabetes:

-being Fist Nation
-being overweight, with most of the weight around the belly
-having a family member that already has diabetes
-high blood pressure
-high cholesterol
-getting older
-inactive lifestyle
-high fat diet
-high alcohol intake

Eventually there can be complications of Diabetes like:

-blindness
-heart disease/heart attack/stroke
-kidney problems
-nerve damage
-limb amputations (like removing toes/foot/leg)
-depression
-shorter life expectancy

Some people believe that you can prevent or at least delay the development of diabetes through:

-exercising/physical activity
-healthy eating (regular scheduled meal times)
-controlling weight
-no smoking
-regular visits to the doctor, dentist and eye doctor

Professionals you may need if you have diabetes:

-Social Worker
-Diabetes Nurse
-Foot Care Specialist
-Dietician
-Diabetes Educator

For more information please check out the Canadian Diabetes Association or head to your local clinic for information or if you have any concerns please speak to a nurse.

Website Bibliography/References

“Diabetes Guide”, WedMD         (16 March, 2011)
http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/understanding-diabetes-basics

“Diabetes & You”, Canadian Diabetes Association          (15 March, 2011)
http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/what/facts/

“Overweight Canadian Children and Adolescents”, Statistics Canada        (17 March, 2011)
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-620-m/2005001/article/child-enfant/8061-eng.htm

 

 

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