Friday, October 21, 2005
So what exactly is diabetes?
Despite the fact that diabetes mellitus is sharply on the upswing, particularly amongst younger kids, it seems a lot of people dont know what the disease is about. Diabetes comes from a Greek word that means to siphon. The most obvious sign of diabetes is excessive urination. Water passes through the body of a person with diabetes as if it were being siphoned from the mouth through the urinary system out of the body. Mellitus comes from a Latin word that means sweet like honey. The urine of a person with diabetes contains extra sugar (glucose. In 1679, a physician tasted the urine of a person with diabetes and described it as sweet like honey. Diabetes mellitus starts with the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, the hormone which regulates sugar. It is a multifactorial disease, Type 1 diabetics(15% of cases) dont produce ANY insulin, so they need to inject themselves with it. Type 2(85% of cases)diabetes produce decreased insulin, this can be managed by diet and/or medication. Poorly managed type 2 diabetics cease the ability to produce any insulin and become type 1 diabetics.
High sugar levels and the inability of the body to keep it in check damages blood vessels, thereby limiting circulation starting with the vessels furthest away from the heart. Oppotunistic infections also thrive in this environment of poorly managed diabetes. Bored yet? Basically the onset of gangrene and the threat of sepsis will lead to surgical intervention eg. amputation. Depressing aint it? Well it doesnt end there. Eventually the heart and kidneys are affected as well. Heres a few facts :
Most common cause of death amongst diabetics : Kidney failure
Most common cause of blindness in the US : diabetes
Most common candidates who undergo amputation : diabetics
You can look up more details by googling it. While theres a great selection of medication available, it is ultimetely change in lifestyle which turns the tide.
Like regular soda? Too bad, you're going to have to go diet(despite the controversy over aspartame, its better to switch). Got a pot belly? You're almost guarenteed DM2 in the future. Get active. Dont go renting the Taebo collection yet. Start walking, or better yet, get a treadmill, watch TV while walking. No fast food, period. Footcare is an absolute must for diabetics. Wash your feet every night and apply lotion, or some olive oil, make sure the skin is hydrated. So is there a cure for diabetes. NOPE. There is positive buzz that stomach stapling is an excellent way to lose weight and control blood sugar. I think they are smoking crack. Dont get me wrong, there are certain individuals who need gastric bypass surgery like the poor dude who didnt leave his house in seventeen years, but its not a good idea for most people. This method has unfortunetly been glamorized by Hollywood(tHey should have stapled Roseanne's mouth along with her stomach IMHO) Keep in mind that different parts of the stomach have different functions, and doctors will, in the future have to deal with long term complications of such a radical procedure. This leads to(drum roll) the DrM plan which is the next blog entry.....