On the rise is a serious medical condition called diabetes. There are different forms of diabetes but generally the definition of diabetes is the body’s insulin is not working to process glucose taken in properly. There can be different reasons for the insulin not properly transforming glucose into energy and each reason is dependent upon the form of diabetes from which one might suffer. Therefore, one must address the types of diabetes for a full understanding of the condition and why it is on the rise to epidemic levels.
Type 1 Diabetes
This form of diabetes comes about because the endocrine system is not producing insulin at all. This condition requires shots of insulin and used to be called Juvenile diabetes because it is found in children and young adults. Because the condition is thought to derive from a combination of reasons including, but not limited to, genetic predisposition, a trigger and some sort of antigen, it appears the body’s immune system attacks the pancreatic insulin as an autoimmune disorder.
Because pre-diabetes can lead to Type 2, rather than Type 1, thus its description is listed before Type 2. Pre-diabetic means that a body’s sugar/glucose level is just high enough outside of the normal range but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This is where the epidemic originates as it relates to diabetes because the body is becoming insulin resistant. Over 57 million Americans are in this category and can be for many years before moving on to Type 2 diabetes. The condition can be controlled before reaching Type 2 through proper diet, exercise and maintaining a proper weight. Another condition, which is not necessarily permanent, is gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are more likely than not develop Type 2 after giving birth.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, characterized by insulin resistance and low production of insulin cells. It is categorized as adult onset and has a chance being controlled through diet and exercise. Because this type is not only caused by genetics but by lifestyle as well, the concern for epidemic proportions is real. In this world where so much convenience, technology, convenient/fast foods, our diets and lack of exercise contribute heavily towards the growth of this disease. As the condition progresses, insulin might need to be taken because high sugar can effect organs and tissue and can cause death.
Of course any diagnosis must come from a licensed physician but some DirectLabs® is offering this month is used by doctors to diagnose diabetes: 1) Hemoglobin A1c (averages blood sugar over the course of three months); 2) Diabetes Package (checks status of kidney and the blood sugar average); and 3) Diabetes Package Plus (checks status of kidneys, potential renal disease, average of blood sugar, status of insulin and for hypoglycemia).
Written by Theresa B. Tannich, Special Projects, DirectLabs®, LLC February 29, 2012.