Diabetes is the metabolic illness that is associated with insufficient insulin and increased blood glucose. About 5% of the American population experiences diabetic complications (Jones, 2010). Diabetes has no cure; nonetheless, with suitable controlling and treatment, the affected individual is able to live a healthy, normal life. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas through specialized cells as a reaction to high concentration of blood glucose. The main function of insulin is regulating the transportation of glucose into the cells from the bloodstream. Insulin assists in maintaining the blood glucose level within the normal limit and arouses the synthesis of protein, and the synthesis of glucose in the muscle and liver.
Type 1 diabetes, which was previously known as juvenile diabetes is experienced when the pancreas’s beta cells are mistakenly attacked and killed by the immune system causing reduced or no insulin being released to the body. As such, there is a build-up of sugar in the blood rather than being utilized for energy (Madhuri, 2011). Generally, type 1 diabetes is developed in childhood or during the adolescent stages, but could also occur in adults. The major symptoms observed with type 1 diabetes include: feeling extremely tired, feeling extremely thirsty, frequent urination, loos of weight and muscle, yeast infections, genital area’s itchiness, blurred vision caused and gradual healing of grazes and cuts (Madhuri, 2011).
The most basic treatment of Type 1 diabetes is insulin. In addition, meal planning is helpful in maintaining blood sugar at appropriate levels. For this type of diabetes, the treatment of individuals often comprises of healthy diets, exercising, and provision of shots of insulin for replacing the insulin that the body has stopped producing (Madhuri, 2011). The majority of the insulin-reliant diabetics test the blood about four times daily as a means of monitoring the glucose level of their blood. The exercise is required for keeping the glucose level of their blood within specific limits.
With type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to accurately utilize the released insulin or is unable to generate sufficient insulin. As such, there is a build-up of sugar in the blood rather than being utilized as energy (Mogensen, 2011). Type 2 diabetes is commonly experienced in adults, but can also affect the children. Based on the seriousness of type 2 diabetes, the disease could be managed by physical activities and planning of meals, or might need the use of insulin shots or medications to effectively regulate the blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetes has mild symptoms, which are similar to type 1 and include; fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, and blurred vision. The disease can be regulated through healthy diet, exercising and losing weight. The affected individuals must monitor the levels of glucose in their blood to guarantee they are at a healthy level. In other cases, losing wright, exercising and dieting are not sufficient for controlling the levels of glucose.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women. It impacts about 4% of every pregnancy and entails the increased risks of the development of diabetes for the infant and the mother (Ruchat, 2011). This type of diabetes occurs when the body is incapable of producing and using all the insulin required during pregnancy. With the lack of sufficient insulin, the glucose is unable to leave the blood and thus, cannot be transformed to energy. As a result, the blood experiences glucose builds up in high levels.
Metformin is the initial form of medication that is prescribed for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. The drug functions to enhance the body tissues’ sensitivity to insulin in order for the body to utilize insulin effectively. In addition, the drug reduces the production of glucose in the liver. However, the drug might be unable to reduce the blood sugar on its own. As such, metformin is used along with other lifestyle changes like exercising and weight loss (Mogensen, 2011). Metformin is administered orally under the doctor’s prescription. It is often taken with a meal. However, there are several side effects associated with the drug, such as diarrhoea and Nausea. The side effects often disappear as the body familiarizes with the medicine.
With type 2 diabetes, if the affected individual does not work to monitor his/her glucose level in the blood, are short- and long-term complications might develop. Type 2 diabetes’s short-term effects include hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) and hypoglycaemia (Mogensen, 2011). HHNS is a situation where there is increased blood glucose level. On the other hand, hypoglycaemia is a situation where there is reduced blood glucose level. There is a probability of the blood glucose of the body dropping, particularly if one is taking insulin. As such, the individual experiences the symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes like blurred vision.
With type 2 diabetes, the long-term effects include kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, macrovascular problems, and diabetic neuropathy. If untreated, diabetic nephropathy causes impaired kidney functioning, kidney transplant or dialysis (Mogensen, 2011). Unregulated diabetes could lead to kidney failure and they will not be able to properly clean the blood. The out of range blood glucose levels for an extensive period could result in retinopathy or cataracts in the eyes, which could result in blindness. Diabetic neuropathy is the damage of nerves due to diabetes. The small blood vessels “feed” the nerve of the body, thus, if there is damage in the blood vessels, the nerves are eventually damaged. In addition, type 2 diabetes affects the larger blood vessels, resulting in the build-up of plaque and possibly could cause a stroke or heart attack.
- Ruchat, S. (2011). Exercise Guidelines for Women with Gestational Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes. doi:10.5772/20626
- Jones, A., & Hattersley, A. T. (2010). Monogenic Causes of Diabetes. Textbook of Diabetes, 243-264. doi:10.1002/9781444324808.ch15
- Madhuri, K. (2011). The Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes – Pathogenesis, Genetics and Immunotherapy. doi:10.5772/21924
- Mogensen, C. E. (2011). Renal Dysfunction and Hypertension, Focus on Type 2 Diabetes. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, 245-270. doi:10.1002/0470857358.ch13