Search the Healthy Living Web Site


Advanced Search

This Week's Discussion Topics

Home | Message Board | About Us | Alternative | Bookstore | Exercise | Health Issues | Gatherings | Member Photo Gallery | Newsletters | Nutrition | Our Stories | Recipes | Recommended Software | Resources | Weight Maintenance | Site Map | Contact Us
 


Healthy Living

Basic Diabetes Information

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

Approximately 17 million people in the United States, or 6.2% of the population, have diabetes. While an estimated 11.1 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 5.9 million people (or one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.

There are three major types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 diabetes - Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. There are an estimated 850,000 to 1.7 million people - or 5-10% of the population - with type 1 diabetes.

  2. Type 2 diabetes - Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to make enough or properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Approximately 90-95% (16 million) have type 2 diabetes.

    • Pre-diabetes - Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that at least 16 million Americans have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 17 million with diabetes.

  3. Gestational diabetes - Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases in the United States each year.

Symptoms

Often diabetes goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate the early detection and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Some of the symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision

If you have one or more of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.


Related Articles:


Join these discussions:


Copyright © 1998-2002 SLM & Healthy Living
All Rights Reserved

Back to Top


Home | Message Board | About Us | Alternative | Bookstore | Exercise | Health Issues | Gatherings | Member Photo Gallery | Newsletters | Nutrition | Our Stories | Recipes | Recommended Software | Resources | Weight Maintenance | Site Map | Contact Us