Thursday, 28 April 2011

Diabetes: A Rising Nationwide Health Concern

Diabetes: A Rising Nationwide Health Concern

Diabetes has quickly become a rising nationwide health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it affects approximately 8.3 percent of the U. S. population, which includes nearly 7 million people that have yet to be medically diagnosed with the disease. Type II Diabetes is responsible for 90-95% of all diabetes cases in the U.S.; the remaining 5-10% are Type I.

Early detection and treatment is crucial to the lifelong health of a diabetic individual. Currently the best detection tool available to diagnose and monitor diabetes is a hemoglobin A1c test which reflects the average blood sugar level of a person over the past three months.

People with Type II Diabetes either do no secrete enough insulin, or the insulin that is produced is not properly utilized by muscle and fat cells (insulin resistance) resulting in hyperglycemia. A person with Type I Diabetes is unable to produce insulin at all.

There are various factors that contribute to the development of diabetes such as excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, fast distribution and diet (habitual excessive fat or carbohydrate intake and Vitamin D deficiency). High stress and genetics can also play a role in the development of the disease.

The symptoms of Type II Diabetes can vary among individuals and in many cases, no symptoms are present. Common symptoms may include extreme thirst or hunger, dry mouth, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue and weakness, slow healing sores, headaches, frequent urination, itching of the skin or numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.

There are a variety of medication options available to treat and control diabetes; however the key to maintaining healthy glucose levels is through the implementation of a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Oral diabetes medications help to control blood glucose levels in individuals whose body still produces some insulin. A combination of oral medications is often used to attain optimal blood glucose control. People whose bodies are no longer able to release insulin due to their existing high blood sugar levels often require insulin injections, alone or in combination with oral medications, to manage their diabetes.

If left untreated, diabetes increases an individual’s risk of stroke, heart attack, skin infections, neuropathy and sexual dysfunction. It’s imperative to seek out medical attention if you feel you are at risk or exhibiting symptoms of the diabetes.

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