The members of our coffee club ask Uncle Bud to review some of the information we discussed a few months ago about diabetes. As you remember Uncle Bud enjoys reading, doing research and most of all sharing what he learns with us once a week at the coffee club. We admit with our busy lifestyles we are more than ready for him to do this for us.
Everyone settles back and he begins:
First let me remind you that there is no cure diabetes. However, let’s not get too discouraged by this because it is treatable and with certain changes to your lifestyle you can enjoy a long and productive life even if you have diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus (or diabetes) is a chronic and lifelong condition that affects the body’s ability to use the energy found in the food you eat. The three major types of diabetes are: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.
Your body needs glucose to fuel the cells that make up the body. In order to produce glucose your body breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. However, the cells must have insulin (a hormone in your bloodstream) in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy. If you have either of the types of diabetes mellitus, your body does not make enough insulin, it cannot use the insulin it does produce, or a combination of both.
Because the cells cannot use the glucose it builds up in your blood. When the levels of blood glucose get too high it can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in your heart, eyes, kidneys, and even the nervous system. It is very important that diabetes does not go untreated. Diabetes may eventually cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage in your feet.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of diabetes. Remember, while there is not a cure for diabetes at this time it is treatable.
Type 1 diabetes is referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. It is sometimes called juvenile-onset diabetes due the fact it so often begins in childhood. This type of diabetes is caused by the body attacking its own pancreas with antibodies. The damaged pancreas does not make insulin.
As we have already discussed there are several medical risks associated with Type 1 Diabetes. Some of them are caused by the damage to tiny blood vessels in the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves taking insulin, which needs to be injected through the skin into the fatty tissue below. The methods of injecting insulin include:
Insulin pens that use pre-filled cartridges and a fine needle
Jet injectors that use high pressure air to send a spray of insulin through the skin
· Insulin pumps that dispense insulin through flexible tubing to a catheter under the skin of the abdomen
Our time today is running out so Uncle Bud promises to cover Type 2 Diabetes next week. He also reminds us that he knows we can contact Weigh to Wellness to receive professional help in managing Diabetes.