Health Library: Diabetes

Of most diseases that inflict people, diabetes is one that is deadly yet can be manageable if cautiously treated. It occurs as a malfunction of the body's ability to properly deal with insulin levels. Insulin is a normal hormone produced in our bodies. In small amounts, it is good since it helps us to process glucose to be used as fuel. However, if the body cannot create the right amounts of insulin, the glucose levels can go out of control and lead to several complications.

Diabetes is very significant, and when diagnosed, should be taken seriously. In the U.S. alone, it impacts around 23.6 million people each year. Studies have also proven that it is currently the seventh main cause of death. Even those who do not die directly because of diabetes can find that their life expectancy is reduced by as much as fifteen years. Additionally, the heart disease risk can be doubled and diabetes can also cause other issues such as kidney failure, blindness in adults and the need to amputate the lower limbs.

Currently, the rates of diabetes are increasing nationally, despite massive costs in the billions that are spent on related health care and treatments. Diabetes symptoms can sometimes be fairly subtle, so it is unsurprising that many people don't realize that they have diabetes for a long time. In Type 1 diabetes, the symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst and hunger, tiredness, and increased urination. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes may experience blurred or failing vision, infections, slow-healing bruises or cuts, or tingling in the extremities, in addition to the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. People who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes are usually more prone to Type 2 diabetes. However, losing weight through a healthy diet and sufficient exercise can significantly reduce the risk. Aging and ethnicity are different types of risk factors that cannot be controlled but individuals can help to reduce their risk of diabetes by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What is Diabetes?

Symptoms and Diagnosis


Prevention, Risk Factors, and Screening


Disease Management and Treatment


Coping

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    Written by and last updated 2014-01-06