Tagbilaran, Thursday, 12 August 2010
Let us talk about health.
An anonymous reader found the following article in the Internet and he/she is requesting Bared to print it so that, like him/her, people should be aware of the so-called diabetes, a metabolism disorder.
"Diabetes. Sure, you've heard of it. But how much do you really know about what it's like to live with it? Some people may want to pretend that their diabetes doesn't exist. That's not a good plan, because it usually leads to poorly controlled diabetes. And that can be dangerous to your friend's health.," said Mr./Miss Anonymous. "If your friends have diabetes, convince him to see the doctor!" (Note: The sender said that the information is from the World Health Organization.)
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose. When you eat, glucose from the food gets into your bloodstream. Then, the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that helps the glucose in the blood get into the body's cells, where it's used as fuel.
Why is it called diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes comes from Greek, and it means a siphon. Aretus the Cappadocian, a Greek physician during the second century A.D., named the condition diabainein. He described patients who were passing too much water (polyuria) - like a siphon. The word became "diabetes" from the English adoption of the Medieval Latin diabetes.
In 1675 Thomas Willis added mellitus to the term, although it is commonly referred to simply as diabetes. Mel in Latin means honey; the urine and blood of people with diabetes has excess glucose, and glucose is sweet like honey. Diabetes mellitus could literally mean "siphoning off sweet water".
In ancient China people observed that ants would be attracted to some people's urine, because it was sweet. The term "Sweet Urine Disease" was coined.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Diabetes Type 1 - You produce no insulin at all.
Diabetes Type 2 - You don't produce enough insulin, or your insulin is not working properly.
Gestational Diabetes - You develop diabetes just during your pregnancy.
People can often have diabetes and be completely unaware. The main reason for this is that the symptoms, when seen on their own, seem harmless. However, the earlier diabetes is diagnosed the greater the chances are that serious complications, which can result from having diabetes, can be avoided.
Here is a list of the most common diabetes symptoms:
- Frequent urination. Have you been going to the bathroom to urinate more often recently? Do you notice that you spend most of the day going to the toilet? When there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood you will urinate more often. If your insulin is ineffective, or not there at all, your kidneys cannot filter the glucose back into the blood. The kidneys will take water from your blood in order to dilute the glucose - which in turn fills up your bladder.
- Disproportionate thirst. If you are urinating more than usual, you will need to replace that lost liquid. You will be drinking more than usual. Have you been drinking more than usual lately?
- Intense hunger. As the insulin in your blood is not working properly, or is not there at all, and your cells are not getting their energy, your body may react by trying to find more energy - food. You will become hungry.
- Weight gain. This might be the result of the above symptom (intense hunger).
- Unusual weight loss. This is more common among people with Diabetes Type 1. As your body is not making insulin it will seek out another energy source (the cells aren't getting glucose). Muscle tissue and fat will be broken down for energy. As Type 1 is of a more sudden onset and Type 2 is much more gradual, weight loss is more noticeable with Type 1.
- Increased fatigue. If your insulin is not working properly, or is not there at all, glucose will not be entering your cells and providing them with energy. This will make you feel tired and listless.
- Irritability. Irritability can be due to your lack of energy.
- Blurred vision. This can be caused by tissue being pulled from your eye lenses. This affects your eyes' ability to focus. With proper treatment this can be treated. There are severe cases where blindness or prolonged vision problems can occur.
- Cuts and bruises don't heal properly or quickly. Do you find cuts and bruises take a much longer time than usual to heal? When there is more sugar (glucose) in your body, its ability to heal can be undermined.
- More skin and/or yeast infections. When there is more sugar in your body, its ability to recover from infections is affected. Women with diabetes find it especially difficult to recover from bladder and vaginal infections.
- Itchy skin. A feeling of itchiness on your skin is sometimes a symptom of diabetes.
- Gums are red and/or swollen - Gums pull away from teeth. If your gums are tender, red and/or swollen this could be a sign of diabetes. Your teeth could become loose as the gums pull away from them.
- Frequent gum disease/infection. As well as the previous gum symptoms, you may experience more frequent gum disease and/or gum infections.
- Sexual dysfunction among men. If you are over 50 and experience frequent or constant sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction), it could be a symptom of diabetes.
- Numbness or tingling, especially in your feet and hands. If there is too much sugar in your body your nerves could become damaged, as could the tiny blood vessels that feed those nerves. You may experience tingling and/or numbness in your hands and feet.
How to help prevent complications:
- Keep your blood pressure under 130/85 mm Hg.
- Keep your cholesterol level below 200 mg.
- Check your feet every day for signs of infection.
- Get your eyes checked once a year.
- Get your dentist to check your teeth and gums twice a year.
- Physical activity helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Healthy eating, doing exercise, keeping your weight down will all contribute towards good cardiovascular health - some patients will need oral medication for this.
- Stop smoking! As smoking might have a serious effect on the cardiovascular health the patient should stop smoking.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.bohol.ph.
Leo P. Udtohan
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