Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Diabetes and YOU

By: William Oakley, MD - UCF Health Center

For those patients that have any form of diabetes, the UCF Health Center will be offering a specialty clinic directed towards Diabetes treatment and management within the next few months.

Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder. It is a chronic disease caused by pancreatic insufficiency of insulin production, resulting in elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels. There are 2 diabetes classifications: Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM); and Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

Type 1 occurs in 15 out of 100,000 people, with a mean age onset of 8-12 years old. It develops due to a viral or inherited defect, which damages the pancreatic “beta” cells, and therefore no insulin is produced. Insulin is required to keep blood sugar levels normal. These patients require daily insulin injections in order to keep their sugar levels under control. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, only treatment with various types of insulin.
Type 2 occurs in 8,000 per 100,000 people, or 8% of the adult population, with a median age onset of 40. The type 2 patient has a “partially” functional pancreas; some insulin is being produced, but not enough. Therefore, oral medications as well as injectable insulin are used in treating these patients. Type 2 diabetes can result from hereditary genetics, or can be a result of poor lifestyle choices - being overweight, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Both types of diabetes can lead to chronic disease problems which include arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and dialysis, blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, skin ulcerations, and peripheral neuropathy. Signs and symptoms of diabetes include urinary frequency, increased thirst or appetite, unexplained weight loss, weakness, fatigue, frequent infections, nausea and vomiting, dehydration, headache, and visual disturbances. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, see your doctor immediately and get checked for the possibility of having diabetes. Diabetes is easily diagnosed by checking a simple blood glucose level or urinalysis. The key to treatment is early diagnosis, tight management of blood sugar levels, regular exercise, weight loss, and appropriate diet.

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