Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases. These diseases cause the sufferer to have high blood sugar. The reason being either the body is not producing insulin or it can no longer process it properly.
The most common symptoms of diabetes are: increased hunger, increased thirst, increased urination and weight loss. It is also possible to get rashes and for your sight to become blurry. With type 2 diabetes sometimes the signs and symptoms are not as easy to see as they are with type 1.
When it comes to type 1 diabetes the cause is mostly inherited.
It is a virus that causes the disease to finally occur. Some professionals believe that environmental factors also help trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. The cause of type 2 diabetes is a mix of genetics and lifestyle factors.
It is important to understand that diabetes is a serious disease. A disease that you cannot treat by yourself; only with the help of your doctor. In some cases you may even need a larger team of professionals (i.e. a nutritionist, a podiatrist, a diabetes specialist and an eye doctor). For both type 1 and type 2 diabetes your blood sugar levels require close monitoring. And in both cases your treatment will involve medications, exercise and diet changes.
For type 1 diabetes you will have to start taking insulin as your body no longer produces it. You can take it in and injectable form or with a pump. The pump is a bit easier to use as it does most of the work for you and you do not have to worry about missing a treatment. There are 4 types of insulin used today. They are: intermediate-acting, rapid-acting, long-acting and short-acting. Given the way your diabetes acts will determine what sort of insulin your doctor will prescribe. It some cases mixtures of insulin are used.
With type 2 diabetes, different forms of drugs can be used to help with treatment. They include drugs that improve the way your body uses insulin, ones that block reabsorption of glucose by the kidney, ones that increase insulin production, ones that decrease sugar production and, as well, decrease sugar absorption by the intestines.
As far as diet goes, professionals recommend 3 small meals a day with 4 snacks in between them. A mediterranean diet seems to be the best-working diet when it comes to treating diabetes. Exercise is an important part of your treatment. Exercise has been shown to actually help prevent diabetes from happening to those who are prone to getting it.
The only thing that has been proven to “cure” diabetes are pancreas transplants. For the most part the diabetic will have to live the rest of their lives with the disease. However, as long as they manage their treatments effectively, eating healthy, exercising, following their medical treatment, checking their glucose levels regularly and seeing their doctor every 3 or 4 months, they should lead a healthy, normal life.