What is Diabetes?

Diabetes (medically known as diabetes mellitus) is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose, or blood sugar levels. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes is a disorder of the body’s immune system that is, its system for protecting itself from viruses, bacteria, or any “foreign” substance.

Type 1diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells – called beta cells are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy.

But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.

For this reason, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life-threatening.

The warning signs of type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst; frequent urination; drowsiness or lethargy; sugar in urine; sudden vision changes; increased appetite; sudden weight loss; fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on the breath; heavy, labored breathing; stupor; and unconsciousness.

Generally, type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. Scientists do not yet know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved.

Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) diabetes typically develops after age 40, but can appear earlier, and has more recently begun to appear with more frequency in children. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body does not produce enough or is not able to use it effectively. Treatment includes diet control, exercise, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and, in some cases, oral drugs or insulin.

Burden of Diabetes

Diabetes is not simply a “Sugar” problem

It affects the heart, Kidney’s eyes, and nervous system. It is a lifelong disease. Treatment of Diabetes s aimed at keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible to avoid its short-term as well as long-term complications. In response to the going health burden of Diabetes Mellitus, the diabetes Community has three choice.

  •                 Prevent Diabetes
  •                 Cure Diabetes
  •                 Take better care of people with Diabetes to prevent Devastating Complications

With the escalation in the cost of insulin’s, huge hospital expenditures incurred to patients with Diabetic Nephropathy, Retino pathy, related Cardiovascular and surgical emergencies, Increasing numbers of juvenile Diabetics, we have an incredibly Vulnerable society.