Diabetes

Insulin Pump with Infusion
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (also called insulin-dependent diabetes) is an auto-immune disease characterized by the immune system's destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This type of diabetes is often referred to as juvenile-onset diabetes as it is most common in youth. It can, however, be triggered by external factors such as diet. Type 2 diabetes (also called non-insulin dependent diabetes) is the most commonly occurring form as it affects approximately 85-90% of people diagnosed with diabetes. It is sometimes called late-onset diabetes and it is believed to be caused not o­nly by genetics but also such factors as obesity, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes can vary widely, but there are a few that seem to recur in many cases. These common symptoms include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst, excessive urination, infections, altered mental state, and blurry vision.

Effects of Diabetes

If a patient diagnosed with diabetes lets their glucose levels remain elevated for long periods of time, the excess blood sugar can have long term effects o­n the body. Some of these effects include kidney damage, vision problems, heart and circulation problems, and nerve damage.

Diabetes Treatment Options

Treatment begins with a change in the patient's diet and exercise regime. In many cases, simply supplementing with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, dairy products, and lean proteins as well as incorporating moderate exercise into the routine helps to bring glucose levels under control.

In addition, medications such as insulin secretagogues, meglitinides, insulin sensitizers, metformin, glucose absorption inhibitors, and biguanides are all effective at controlling diabetes in the cases of some patients. The most common treatment used is insulin injections. By supplementing the body with insulin, the patient is able to bypass the pancreas' natural function.