Diabetic Disease and its Complications
by: Andrew Bicknell
Diabetic disease is a growing concern around the world, and early detection and diagnosis of these pathologies are critical in not only raising awareness among those at risk for disease, but also for developing treatments to help prevent the onset and progression of disease. Some times if this disease is severe enough and it can require aggressive intervention to treat the complications that it can bring about.
Diabetes mellitus is currently developing into one of the main threats of human health with an explosive increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide. Approximately 29 million Americans age 20 or older have diabetes. But many, almost one-third, don't know they have the disease and are at risk for vision loss, kidney failure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
This degenerative disease can damage many of the body systems leading to such serious medical complications as heart disease (heart attack, stroke) blindness (due to retinopathy ) kidney damage, impotence in men, amputations from gangrene and/or from damage to nerves (neuropathy). In fact diabetics spend more time in the hospital for foot complications than for all other aspects of their disease combined. Foot gangrene is typically caused by a combination of limb ischemia (tissue death) as the result of arterial occlusive disease, most commonly atherosclerosis, injury and poor healing, usually combined with a superimposed infection.
Strong diabetic control, namely, stable blood sugars and tight low insulin, is most important in avoiding the terrible complications and end-stage processes of diabetes such as coronary heart disease, massive obesity, or renal disease requiring dialysis. By self monitoring blood sugar levels and by using multiple insulin injections or using an insulin pump, you can slow the development of diabetic retinopathy and other complications of diabetes.
The diabetic's disease is the failure of the body to produce sufficient insulin; the disease is not the individual's failure to stay on a diabetic diet. Although for diabetes (and all of us) the goal is still excellent glucose control, much more important is strict insulin control. With insulin levels, the lower the better. A normal fasting insulin level is less than 10 mIU/ml.
Diabetic disease is a condition that cannot be cured but with proper diet, exercise, and medical management its symptoms and complications can be controlled, allowing those who suffer its affects to live long and healthy lives.
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