Σάββατο, 15 Σεπτεμβρίου 2007

Diabetes Abc's

Type 1 Diabetes: Metabolic disorder that occurs in childhood or adolescence. The body reacts against the beta cells of the pancreas and destroys them. This is why Type 1 Diabetes is called an autoimmune disorder (the body’s own immune system attacks the pancreas). The reason is still unknown. The destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, (which produce the hormone insulin) can cause symptoms: extreme thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, extreme fatigue, high blood sugar levels (ketoacidosis).
If hyperglycemia is not treated soon enough, a person can have trouble breathing, can collapse and may go into a coma. The treatment requires the administration of insulin (since, obviously, the pancreas has already stopped producing it). There is increased prevalence in relatives, though Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. Type 1 diabetes is also increasingly diagnosed in young adults <35y.o.
Type 2 Diabetes: Usually occurs in adults, who are obese. There are two contributing factors: 1) deficient secretion of insulin (insufficient amount of insulin produced by the body),
2) deficient action of insulin (the body’s resistance to insulin, as it ignores its insulin secretion) The symptoms are the same as Type 1 Diabetes, but the treatment is different. In the early stages of Type 2 Diabetes, insulin administration is not required. The affected person uses diet, exercise, and hypoglycemic tablets in order to help the body produce more insulin and use it more effectively. Insulin is usually prescribed when the body’s supplies of insulin are insufficient and thus cannot match the needs of the affected person and regulate the blood sugar levels. At recent years, Type 2 Diabetes is also diagnosed in obese children.
Insulin: Hormone produced in the pancreas, which decreases the blood sugar levels, as it metabolizes glucose (allows glucose to be absorbed by tissues and cells). The body of Type 1 diabetics has stopped producing insulin, because the beta cells of the pancreas (Lagerhan’s islets) were attacked and have been destroyed by their own immune system (autoimmune condition). As insulin is essential for the life of a diabetic, he must take it either by multiple injections or by an insulin pump.
Education: After being diagnosed, a diabetic must be educated, so as to learn how to check his blood sugar, at least four times a day, using a special device (glucose meter), which works by taking a drop of blood from the patient’s finger and estimates the amount of glucose in the blood stream. He must learn how to adjust the everyday dosage of insulin shots, according to the readings of the glucose meter. He must know how to treat hypoglycemia (a rapid drop in blood sugar), hyperglycemia (a sudden rise in blood sugar) and DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis- a condition that can result into a coma, if not treated). He must be alert and treat any abnormal change in his blood sugar every day, immediately and effectively, without stress, anger or complaints. (Source: Introduction to Diabetes)

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