Ignorance breeds fear.
When I found out my daughter had juvenile diabetes I was so afraid. I was sure it was a death sentence. This is because I was completely ignorant when it came to diabetes.
I decided I needed to know my enemy. The best way to do this was to become educated. So I took a diabetes education class. It was the best thing I ever did. I also read everything I could get my hands on about diabetes.
Do you want to over come your fear? Let me help you become educated.
This site will contain lot's of information to start you on your way to knowing more about diabetes. I think the most helpful section is the diet pages. Check them out!!!
Heres what you should know about diabetes:
There are two main types of diabetes Mellitus.
Type I, Juvenile diabetes or insulin dependant diabetes &
Type II, Adult onset or noninsulin dependent diabetes.
There is also Gestational Diabetes.
Another type of Diabetes that many people do not know about is Mature Onset Diabetes in Youth.
Let's start with Type I:
In this form of the disorder, which mainly occurs in young people, the pancreas produces very little or no insulin. This disease is now being classed as an Auto Immune Disease. Here's what can happen. Let's say you get sick with a flu like virus. Usually when this happens your white blood cells attack invading orgamisms & you begin to feel better. In a person who is prone to diabetes the white blood cells become confused & begin to attack the beta cells in the pancreas. Let me explain to you what your pancreas does to better understand what is going on. The pancreas is a long, thin gland that lies crosswise just hehind your stomach. It has two major functions. The first is to produce enzymes that help to digest food. The second is to produce the hormones insulin & glucagon. These two hormones are significant in that they play a major part in regulating the glucose level in your blood by helping to maintain it at a constant level. When your pancreas becomes damaged you are unable to manufacture insulin. Insulin helps your beta cells absorb sugar. Your body, unable to use glucose because of the lack of insulin, is forced to obtain energy from fat instead. So your body begins to eat itself. This is very dangerous & eventually leads to a coma if not treated.
Here are the warning signs: irratability, frequent urination, abnormal thirst, nausea or vomiting, weakness, fatigue, weight loss despite a normal (or even increased) intake of food, & unusual hunger. In children, frequent bedwetting - especially by a child who did not previously wet the bed- is another common sign. Also breath that smells like acitone(fingernail polish remover). This is a sign of ketoacidosis & coma.
People with type I diabetes are subject to episodes in which blood glucose levels are very high (hyperglycemia) and very low (hypoglycemia). Either of these conditions can lead to a serious medical emergency.
Epidsodes of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) which strikes suddenly, can be caused by a missed meal, too much exercise, or a reaction to too much insulin. The initial signs of hypoglycemia are hunger, dizziness, sweating, confusion, palpitations & numbness or tingling of lips. If not treated, the individual may go on to experience double vision, trembling, & disorientation; may act strangely; & may eventually lapse into a coma.
In contrast, a hyperglycemic (high blood glucose) episode can come on over a period of several hours or even days. The risk for hyperglycemia is greatest during illness, when insulin requirements rise; blood sugar can creep up, ultimately resulting in coma, a reaction also known as diabetic ketoacidosis. One of the warning signs of developing hyperglycemia is the inablity to keep down fluids. Possible long-term complications include stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, gangrene, & nerve damage.
Diabetes Type II:
This type of diabetes ,often referred to as maturity-onset diabetes, is most likely to occur in people with a family history of diabetes. In this type of the disorder, the pancreas does produce insulin, but the insulin is ineffective. Symptoms include blurred vision, itching, unusual thirst, drowsiness, fatigue, skin infections, slow wound healing, & tingling or numbness in the feet. The onset of type II diabetes typically occurs during adulthood & is linked to a poor diet. Other signs that may be associated with diabetes include lingering flulike symptoms, loss of hair on the legs, increased facial hair, & small yellow bumps known as xanthomas anywhere on the body. Balanoposthitis (inflamation of the penile glans & foreskin) often is the first sign of diabetes & is usually associated with frequent urination day & night.
Some individuals have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), indicating an asymptomatic subclinical or latent, form of diabetes. IGT describes those whose plasma glucose levels & responses to glucose are intermediate, some where between those of a diabetic & a healthy person.
An estimated 5.5 million Americans are being treated for diabetes. Studies indicate that there are 5 million adults with undetected type II diabetes, & another 20 million have impaired glucose tolerance that may lead to full blown diabetes. The National Institutes of Health report undiagnosed diabetes has caused millions of people to lose their vision. In addition, complications of diabetes are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Both types of diabetes are greatly improved by a good diet. Counting Carbohydrates is essential for Type I diabetics. Counting Carbohydrates, Fats & Proteins are essential for Type II diabetics. All diabetics should be on a strict eating schedule. Check out the diet pages on this site. Also talk to your Doctor & Dietician about setting up an effective diet plan for you.
There is also Gestational Diabetes. This affects pregnant women. Usually after the woman has given birth the diabetes goes away. Research has shown that chances are greater for a woman who has had Gestational Diabetes to contract diabetes later in life.
Mature Onset Diabetes in Youth. It affects 1-2% of people with diabetes and often goes unrecognised. It usually develops before the age of 25, runs in families from one generation to the next and needs to be treated by diet or tablets and does not always need insulin treatment. The cause of the diabetes is usually some type of enzime defficiency that affects production of insulin by the pancreas (in that sense is like Type I) or that affects how the body recognizes sugar levels (like a Type II). It can appear in children as young as 2 years old. To read more about this type of Diabetes go to MODY Information I would like to thank Irma for bringing this type of Diabetes to my attention.
Hopefully this has helped you to understand Diabetes a little better. There is really so much more to learn. I hope to add more & more important diabetic information to this site. Check out the links page for added websites on diabetes. Your best bet is to learn everything you can about this disease. It will help you be healthy & in control of your diabetes. Don't allow anyone else to have control!! It's your disease & you should be responsible for it!!
Come back often. I plan on adding to this site until I feel I have given you all the information there is about diabetes. It is important to me!! I want this site to be a generous resource for my daughter who is now almost 12 years old. She has had diabetes for 7 years. I am teaching her how to be in control of her diabetes & being informed will be her greatest strength!! Please check out her story at Discussing Ashley's Diabetes.
I would also love to hear from you. Maybe you have more questions or even some suggestions for the site. Tell me what you would like to see added to this site. Email me at Kimberly Advent
Thank you for visiting!!!
Check out You Know Your the Parent of a Diabetic.
It is hilarious!!!
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This site was last updated: 01-03-06
All the information you obtain on this site is at your own risk.
I am not a doctor, nurse or nutritionalist.
I am a parent of a diabetic who has obtained all this information on my own.
I will not be held accountable for any problems incurred with the information from this site.
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Kimberly Advent Site Owner