Diabetes: Types, Risk Factors and Treatments
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic medical disorders. Diabetes occurs because of a lack of insulin or due to the presence of factors that oppose the action of insulin (Watkins 1). Clark explains that insulin is a hormone that is used to convert sugar and other food into energy. It is the body's means of lowering blood sugar levels and when it fails, everything is out of balance (3). Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells for the body to use for energy. In order to have a better understanding of diabetes, it is important to know the types, risk factors and treatments.
To begin with, there are actually three different types of diabetes. Type 1 and Type 2 are the most common. Gestational diabetes, which is only diagnosed during pregnancy, will not be discussed here.
The clinical symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, unusual thirst, blurred vision, bruises that are slow to heal, fatigue and numbness of the hands and feet.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of the insulin producing cells of the pancreas (Tuch, Dunlop and Proietto 43). Simply put, when the cells are destroyed, the body does not produce insulin. Previously known as insulin dependent diabetes it is also referred to as juvenile diabetes since it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It affects around 15% of all people with diabetes and the peak incidence is at 12 years of age (Tuch, Dunlop, and Proietto 1). Everyone who is affected with type 1 diabetes must have insulin every day. It is either injected under the skin or a pump is used to deliver the insulin all the time. There is no way to...