What is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic and currently difficult to be cured condition in which too much glucose (sugar) is present in the blood.This arises because the body cannot use the glucose properly, either because of a lack of the hormone insulin or because the insulin available does not work effectively. Not only is excess sugar found in the blood but it may appear in the urine too.
The name diabetes mellitus derives from the Greek word ‘diabetes’ meaning siphon – to pass through, and ‘mellitus,’ the Latin for honeyedor sweet. It refers to a major symptom of diabetes, sugar in the urine, and is a far more acceptable name than the one it was known by in the 17th Century – when it was called the ‘pissing evil.’
Diabetes has been a recognized condition for over 3,500 years. About 2,000 years ago, it’s said that Arataeus of Cappadocia described diabetes as ‘a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine.’ This reflected the weight loss and excess passing of urine that occurs in acute, undiagnosed diabetes.
Diabetes is common, and 1.4 million people* in the UK are known to have it. However, an equal number, if not more, are believed to have diabetes yet not know it. More than three-quarters of those with diabetes have what is now called Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. This used to be known by the other names of ‘non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)’ and ‘maturity-onset diabetes mellitus’. The remainder have Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, which used to be known as ‘insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.’
Insulin Dependent Diabetes, or Type 1 Diabetes as is it commonly known, is a medical condition which often starts at a very early age affecting your children or teenagers, although the onset of insulin dependent diabetes can also occur later in adults. The main problems associated with insulin dependent diabetes is;
- the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin
- there is a possibility that this is because of autoimmune damage to the pancreas
- survival depends on insulin treatment
- To be honest, the cause of insulin dependent diabetes is not really known, but researchers are working very hard to find out. Evidence
- suggests that it is due to an autoimmune process which may be triggered to an event which remains undiscovered at this time.
Symptoms of Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Without the production of insulin, the blood glucose levels rise in the bloodstream giving diabetes symptoms of an increased thirst, drinking lots of water and lots of urination. There is also an increased hunger yet weight loss, the lack of insulin means that glucose cannot be taken to the cells and fuel the body. At the onset of Insulin Dependent Diabetes, before the patient has had treatment it is common for blood glucose levels to go extremely high causing diabetic ketoacidosis. This is due to extremely high sugar levels and acidosis in the bloodstream leading to;
- the person becoming very unwell
- suffering sever dehydration
- lood chemistry problems
- even losing consciousness
- seizures may occur
- unless treated very quickly the patient may fall into a coma
Insulin Dependent Diabetes Treatment
In case you haven’t noticed already, the treatment for insulin dependent diabetes is . . . insulin, although a healthy lifestyle is also very important. It’s important that the patient monitors their own diabetes at home using a glucose meter, as well as having regular blood tests with a doctor and specialist treatment.
If insulin dependent diabetes is not treated then the patient may fall into a coma and even die. If the diabetes is treated but not properly, then these other complications may be noticed;
- Short term complications of insulin dependent diabetes
- diabetic symptoms such as an increased thirst, lots of drinking and excessive urination
- diabetic ketoacidosis leading to seizures and even coma
- increased risk of infections due to the fact that the immune system can’t work too well when blood sugars are poorly controlled
- side effects of the insulin treatment like hypoglycemic episodes, which really means that the blood sugar levels are way too low
- Long term complications of Insulin Dependent Diabetes
- eye problems including cataracts, problems of the retina and eventual loss of vision
- heart disease including heart attacks, angina and heart failure
- neuropathy including symptoms like numbness and pins and needles, especially in the hands and feet
- kidney damage leading to possible kidney failure
- leg pains and gangrene
- infections, particularly due to the lack of feeling in the hands and feet – not knowing that you’ve injured or cut yourself, plus poor
circulation can lead to real infection problems
Things you need to take care:
As you may have noticed, Insulin Dependent Diabetes might not be the most common type of diabetes, but without the proper treatment and control it can have an effect on almost every part of the body.After all, one of the most important parts of your diabetes treatment is knowledge. Becoming more educated about this problem is a must so that you can understand it and work to control the problem.
You will need to understand all about what type 1 diabetes is and how it works. When you know how this problem works and how it can affect your lifestyle , you will deal with them well. Important facts about type 1 diabetes are also shared above, which can help you learn even more about this disease, its affects, treatments, and more.
It is very important that you learn about the type 1 diabetes symptoms as well which has been described in the article . After all, many people take some time before they actually realize that they are dealing with this problem. If you know the symptoms, when people around you suffer from type 1 diabetes , you will be able to recognize them and get to a medical professional for a diagnosis.
Today it is still difficult to cure for type 1 diabetes, but you can treat it with a careful lifestyle and treatment regimen. We are here to provide you with the information that you need to make the best choices as you work to live with this problem. Though difficult to deal with this disease, we try to offer good information on your side and great treatment, it is possible to keep this disease under control so you can enjoy your life.