Diabetes is a chronic degenerative disease which is caused by the disturbance in the metabolism of the whole body and also by the hormonal imbalance. It occurs in two forms-
Diabetes insipid us is a rare metabolic disorder caused by a deficiency of pituitary hormones and its usual treatment is the replacement of those hormones. Diabetes mellitus, the commonly known diabetes, is of two types:
a) Insulin dependent juvenile diabetes (Type-1): It often occurs in children and young adults when the cells that make insulin stop working. The exact cause of such a non-function is not yet known.
b) Non insulin dependent diabetes (Type-2): It occurs where body makes some insulin but is unable to use it effectively.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way our body uses food. Normally, body changes sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Body uses this glucose for fuel. Glucose is carried to body’s cells by the blood stream. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose to enter the body cells. There, glucose is changed into energy and used, or stored for later use. In diabetes, something goes wrong with this process. Food is changed into glucose but either body doesn’t make enough insulin or it can’t use insulin correctly. Because glucose is unable to enter the cells, it builds up in the blood stream.
Genetic Causes: The tendency of diabetes is believed to be genetic. Type-II incubation period of 15 to 20 days before it becomes manifest. 75% of such diabetes patients will generally be above 40 years of age.
Obesity: Besides heredity, obesity is one of the main causes of diabetes. Excess fat prevents insulin from working properly. Too much food taxes the pancreas and ultimately its normal activity of producing insulin gets paralyzed. It is interesting to note that diabetes is almost unknown in countries where people are poor and cannot afford to overeat.
Diet: Excess intake of refined carbohydrates is believed to cause diabetes. Excess use of saturated fats and excess sugar consumption can also cause diabetes.
Liver dysfunction: Liver is the place where sugar is stored in the form of glycogen as an energy reserve. Liver dysfunction could either be the cause or result of diabetes.
Pancreatic insufficiency, caused by stress, nervous exhaustion, consumption of refined food, coffee, alcohol and smoking are more common causes of diabetes.
It is very important that level of sugar in blood stays relatively even. Too little starves the cells of energy and too much disturbs the body’s chemical balance. Hormone insulin is the key to the proper regulation of this sugar level.
Hypertension and high cholesterol are risk factors in diabetes.
Symptoms of Type-I Diabetes are:
Raised blood sugar
Presence of sugar in urine
Symptoms of Type-II Diabetes:
Tingling of hands and feet
Slow healing of cuts
Incidence of diabetes has increased six fold since 1935. It is estimated that there are above one million new cases world-wide every year.