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Diabetes Kills More People than Breast Cancer or AIDS

Meghana Giridhar - July 28, 2014 10:48 AM

To understand what happens in diabetes, it is important to understand the role of glucose in our body. Carbohydrates consumed through food breaks down into simple sugars which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Sweets, sodas, white rice and pasta are some types of carbs that are absorbed faster than fibrous carbs. As blood sugar increases, the pancreas produces and releases a hormone called insulin into the bloodstream. As the amount of sugar in the blood stream increases, so does the amount of insulin produced. Normal levels of blood sugar are attained between meals leading to a reduction of insulin.

However, in diabetes, blood sugar continues to be high due to lower levels of insulin leading to Type 1, Type 2 or Gestational Diabetes.

Type 1: Occurs due to damage to the pancreas leading to zero production of insulin.

Type 2: The most common type of diabetes, it occurs when the pancreas produce more and more insulin. After a while, the pancreas lose the capacity to produce any insulin.

Gestational Diabetes: Occurs during pregnancy due to physiological changes. It goes away after the baby is born but such women face a greater risk of Type 2 diabetes in later years.

Risk Factors:

•    Obesity
•    Genetics
•    Prior history of gestational diabetes
•    High blood pressure
•    High cholesterol

When You Have Diabetes:

The effects of diabetes are severe and can affect the nervous system, eyesight, kidneys and brain and heart depending on the intensity.

Vision: Small blood vessels within the retina get damaged with high sugar levels affecting vision and blindness.

Kidneys: Tiny blood vessels in the kidneys can get affected making it difficult for the organ to filter blood. In the case of severe kidney decline, dialysis is the last resort where blood is filtered by a machine. The process is long, costly and exhausting.

Nerves: Sensation in the hands and feet is impaired with high blood sugar leading to slowing down of the digestive system.

Brain & Heart Disease: The risk of stroke, dental and heart disease is very high for those with diabetes.
Heart disease rates in diabetics is twice as high as those without.

Managing the Disease:

The key to managing diabetes is controlling blood sugar levels. This is possible with:

•    Medicines
•    Insulin injections
•    Eating balanced meals
•    Regular exercise
•    Weight Control

With the number of those being affected by diabetes increasing at an alarming rate, it is imperative to get informed, get checked, take action and stall the onset of this disease as soon as possible.

References:

http://www.diabetes.org/

http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/default.htm

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/2013/11/25-things-you-should-know-about-diabetes/

http://www.essence.com/2009/11/20/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-diabete/

Click here to read Meghana Giridhar’s blog, “Risk of Stroke Twice as High in Diabetics”.

Meghana Giridhar serves as Content Coordinator and is part of eCareDiary's founding team.  In her role, she oversees and edits content across all of eCareDiary's media platforms.

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