Τρίτη, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2007


Hypoglycemia: condition that occurs when the blood glucose levels, in a diabetic person, are extremely low (<70mg/dl)The symptoms may differ from person to person. Someone may experience dizziness, headache, blurry vision, shivering, inability to concentrate, sweating, hunger, violent behavior.
If hypoglycemia is not treated immediately, the diabetic may feel drowsy, collapse, go into seizure, and finally will go into hypoglycemic coma. The right treatment for the patient is to take glucose by mouth (juice, candy, sugar) or, in more severe cases, to have an injection of glucagon.
Hyperglycemia: condition that occurs when the blood glucose levels are very high. A prolonged hyperglycemia may result into a DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).The symptoms are irritability, nausea, vomiting, breath that smells fruity, thirst, tiredness, exhaustion, trouble breathing, collapsing. When the levels of ketones are very high (due to high blood glucose levels), they acidify the blood. If symptoms are not treated, the diabetic person can go into irreversible coma(diabetic coma).
Glucose: glucose is an essential fuel for the body and it is used for many purposes in the body. It can be converted to fat, glycogen and into energy. When glucose is abundant, it stimulates the secretion of insulin.
Insulin: A hormone produced in beta cells of the pancreas (Lagerhans’s islets). It is released when blood glucose levels are very high. In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreatic cells are destroyed after an attack of the immune system itself (autoimmune condition) and, as a result, secretion of insulin is stopped. Then, blood glucose levels run high, out of control. In that case, a diabetic must take insulin by injection, use an insulin pump or use an insulin inhaler, many times daily.
Insulin increases the uptake and use of glucose by tissues (skeletal muscle, fat cells) and triggers the formation of glycogen.
Glucagon: glucagon is the main peptide hormone opposing the action of insulin. It is released by the pancreas when food is scarce. It acts to promote the mobilization of fuels (acts on the liver to stimulate glucose production). Glucagon triggers glycogen breakdown. It also stimulates the formation of ketone bodies (which can be used as an alternative fuel to glucose). It helps the body to switch to using resources other than glucose (fat and protein). It can be used as a life-saving injection, in a severe hypoglycemia. (Source: Introduction to Diabetes)

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