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What is Diabetes? – A Serious Chronic Disease that can be treated

We seem to hear about people we know having diabetes and we see commercials for medical items to assist diabetics yet many people can still ask themselves “What is Diabetes?”  In simple terms it is a chronic condition where there are high levels of sugar in the blood.  There are two types of diabetes, type I and type II.  There is also a form of diabetes called gestational diabetes which is when high levels of sugar exist in a pregnant woman’s blood that is not normally a diabetic individual.  This form is not considered chronic in most cases, so when the baby is delivered, the mother’s body returns to having more normal sugar levels. 

When someone discovers they have this disease their first question is normally “what is diabetes? Defining the different types can help someone understand.  When someone has type I diabetes their pancreas does not produce enough insulin (hormone pancreas produces) to control the sugar level in their blood.  Most people with this type receive insulin shots daily to control the sugar level.  Type II, more common type, is when someone’s body does not respond properly to insulin that the pancreas is releasing.  This type can be the result of blood sugar increasing over time so the symptoms for the disease can go unnoticed. 

When many people ask “what is diabetes?” they are also essentially asking for the symptoms of the disease.  The most common symptoms for type I are:  abdominal pain, excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea, and weight loss with an increase in appetite.   Someone may experience all of these symptoms but can also only experience a few.  Type II diabetes can have symptoms including: excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, blurred vision and slow healing infections.  Many of these symptoms may go unnoticed or someone may not even experience any of them.  Gestational diabetes can appear without noticeable symptoms as well but a few common ones are:  blurred vision, increased thirst, frequent urination, nausea, and infections especially of the skin, bladder and vagina. 

The first step in treating diabetes is to be diagnosed and for someone without symptoms this means everyone should be tested routinely. For someone with type I they will need to check their own insulin levels regularly, keep a healthy weight, follow a low in sugar diet, take insulin, and exercise also helps maintain the disease.  Type II individuals should check their sugar levels, follow a diabetic diet, and exercise. It’s important to take care of this condition or it can result in severe complications.  What is diabetes? It’s a disease that can cause kidney failure, blindness, amputation of limbs and heart failure.

What is Diabetes