Home  >>  Write  >>  Health  >>  Childrens Health  >>  Genetic Conditions  >>  Diabetes




The main goal of this article is to provide a broad overview of diabetes as a disease including a focus upon some of the different types of diabetes such as type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes and to in addition look at some of the side effects of diabetes and treatment options for those who have diabetes.  This article should be considered as a potential starting point for those looking for more information about diabetes including side effects and treatment options.  However, as always, should you require immediate medical information or treatment, it is important that the ultimate source of information about diabetes that one consults is a trained and licensed health care professional such as your family physician.  They will be able to effectively consul an individual with regard to both diagnostic and treatment options.


Type 1 Diabetes


Most often present in the young, as in children and young adults, type 1 diabetes at one time was referred to as juvenile diabetes.  What characterises this form of diabetes is the inability of the body to produce insulin, the hormone that converts sugar and starches into energy for the body. The treatment of this form of diabetes is as expected, the injection of insulin in order to supplement the body with this hormone that it otherwise would not produce in individuals who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.


Those who have type 1 diabetes may experience hypo- or hyperglycemia which is a result of two little or two high blood glucose levels which are not uncommon side-effects of having to manage one’s blood sugar levels.  One potentially serious conditions that can result from type 1 diabetes is known as ketoacidosis, which is when ketones (acids in the blood) build up, resulting in a loss of consciousness known as a diabetic coma that can be potentially fatal.  Other potential risk factors for those who have type 1 diabetes is an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, some eye complications that result in a higher possibility of going blind, nerve damage, foot complications (which are varied) and skin disorders.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but what is important here is to understand just how many potential risk factors there are that are associated with diabetes and that a qualified health care professional should be able to provide you with a fuller and more comprehensive informational portfolio in order to ensure that you fully understand the risks involved in having type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes


The most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, like type 1 diabetes, is characterized by the inability of the body to produce sufficient insulin or in some cases where the cells ignore the produced insulin, resulting in an inability for the body to retrieve the required energy from sugars and starches.  As with type 1 diabetes, this can result in a number of problems related to abnormal levels of blood sugar, including damage to the nerves, heart, eyes and potentially the kidneys.


Interestingly, there does appear to be a genetic link in diabetes as evidenced by the fact that it has been noted that type 2 diabetes is far more common in certain ethnic groups.  These groups, according to the American Diabetes Association, include African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islands and in addition the aged.


Gestational Diabetes


Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women who have higher blood sugar levels than normal as a result of the pregnancy, affecting 4% of pregnant women in the United States alone each year.  It is not entirely certain what in particular causes gestational diabetes, but it is generally thought that it results in hormone changes and changes in the body’s requirements as a result of pregnancy increased the amount of insulin required.  This generally affects pregnant women who are somewhat late in the pregnancy, but does not result in adverse effects for the child provided it is effectively treated.  Gestational diabetes can result in a condition known as macrosomia which can result in health problems including shoulder damage and increased risk for breathing problems, obesity, and later in life, type 2 diabetes.


Diabetes Prevention


Although not all forms of diabetes can be prevent, type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association has reported that individuals who have pre-diabetes as a result of lifestyle factors can prevent type 2 diabetes from developing by making the appropriate lifestyle changes.  This changes include a diabetes diet that is generally more healthy, as well as by increasing the amount of physical exercise they perform, both of which can return a pre-diabetic individual’s glucose levels back to a healthy range.  In terms of exercise all that is necessary is a 5-10% reduction in body weight and thirty minutes a day of exercise, which the ADA reports can cause a 58% reduction in diabetes.  If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes and would like to know what you can do to prevent or delay this condition it is recommended that you contact both your family physician and the American Diabetes Association or even a diabetes blog in order to discover diabetes symptoms and to find out what you can do to live a healthier life.


American Diabetes Association


The american diabetes association, or ADA, is, according to the website that they operate (www.diabetes.org) the leading 501(C)3 nonprofit health organization in the United States of America that is dedicated to diabetes research, advocacy and providing of information.  The American Diabetes Association was founded in 1940 and their mission statement involves a commitment to the prevention and cure of diabetes and to improve the lives of those affected by this disease.  The American Diabetes Association is involved in funding research, the distribution of information to both the public and health professionals and is strongly committed to advocacy for further scientific research that will aid those who have or are affected by diabetes.