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Many people think of diabetes as a disease for "fat and old" individuals, but this is not always the case although it may be. Many people suffer from diabetes purely through the genes they inherited. So don't judge, learn about it. This wiki will give you an outline of basic diabetes information gathered from reliable medical sources.

Diabetes:

Diabetes occurs when an individual's body is either unable to produce insulin, or is unable to use the insulin created in the proper way. This causes a build up of sugar in the blood. There are two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is known as juvenile-onset diabetes, as it effects the young. Juvenile-onset accounts for about 5% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 is known as adult-onset diabetes, and accounts for 90-95% of diabetes cases. This is the form of diabetes people acquire from being overweight due to improper eating habits.

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Disease Transmission:

Diabetes can be acquired from:
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • Being African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage.
  • Having a prior history of gestational diabetes or birth of at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • Having high blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher.
  • Having abnormal cholesterol with HDL ("good") cholesterol is 35 or lower, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
  • Being physically inactive—exercising fewer than three times a week.

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Symptoms:

Just because you have the symptoms for a disease doesn't necessarily mean you have it. Always check with a doctor for proper diagnoses.
Symptoms for diabetes include:
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

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Health Implications:

Diabetes is not a disease to be taken lightly; it is actually the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Diabetes can result in heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes accounted for 202,290 people living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant due to kidney failure.

Prevalence:

As of 2010, 25.8 million people in the U.S. had diabetes. This accounts for 8.3% of our population. Of these, 18.8 million are diagnosed cases while the remaining 7.0 million are undiagnosed.

Treatment:

For Type 1 diabetes, individuals must monitor their blood sugar levels through frequent blood glucose testing. They give themselves insulin injections based on the food and exercise that is part of their day. They are instructed to eat healthy and exercise.
Type 2 diabetics also are instructed to eat healthy and exercise. They too monitor their blood glucose levels. Furthermore, many also need oral medications, insulin, or both to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
Currently, their is no cure for diabetes. One option being explored is pancreas transplantation.

What can we do?

Currently, there are no preventative measures for Type 1 diabetes. One should just be aware of their family history to determine if they have a predisposition for diabetes.
Everyone can avoid getting Type 2 diabetes by taking charge of their health: being sure to exercise and eat well.

Bibliography:

"Basics About Diabetes." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC, 24 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/consumer/learn.htm>.

"2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC, 9 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/estimates11.htm>.