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Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body produces too little insulin or is not able to use the available insulin efficiently. Insulin is a hormone which is important to use the digested food in the body for growth and energy.

According to a poll around 20.8 millions of Americans have diabetes, and each year about 1.3 million more aged 20 or older are diagnosed with the disorder, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Untreated diabetes can cause severe damage to almost every part of your body. It is the 6th leading cause for the deaths in the US; however it is likely to be under reported as the reason for death in the death certificates.

There are high risks of it if you are overweight, do not exercise and over 30 years of age, or if you have close relatives having it, especially type 2 diabetes. Although it is a chronic disease but people who can manage the diabetes well can live a healthy and a balanced life style.

How is diabetes caused?

The food which we eat is broken down by simple digestive juices into simple sugar called as glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy in the body. It passes into the bloodstream and thereby into the cells becoming the main source of energy.

The hormone insulin is used to unlock the cells so that the glucose can enter. Insulin is normally produced by beta cells in the pancreas. If the right amount of insulin is not generated then the glucose will not be able to enter the cells, hence causing the diabetes to develop.

So in the patients suffering from it, little or no amount of insulin is generated by the pancreas and the little amount which is created is insufficient and does not help the glucose to enter the cells. As a result, the glucose builds up in the body and passes out through urine. Thus, the main source of energy which is present in abundance in the body does not help in providing energy.

There are several types of diabetes.

Type 1(Insulin dependent): in type 1 diabetes the pancreas produce little or no insulin as the beta cells that produce insulin are destroyed completely. This is less common than the type 2.

Type 2(Noninsulin dependent): In this the pancreas produces insulin but the body is unable to use the insulin produced. As the time passes by the pancreas will not produce enough insulin and requires insulin replacement. It often occurs in overweight and obese adults and people who cross 30. It may also occur in children and might also happen if it is a genetic disease.

Third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes mostly occurs during pregnancy. If left unattended might cause danger to the life of the baby and the mother. Gestational diabetes results when hormones produced by the placenta increase the mothers’ resistance to insulin. This usually disappears with the pregnancy but woman with the it are more vulnerable to develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

Women with it are more vulnerable to heart disease and it is more severe than a normal women suffering from heart disease. Women under age 50 are more vulnerable to heart attacks and heart strokes than a woman without it. The disease seems to cancel the protective effects of estrogen on a woman’s heart prior to menopause. Women with it are also at even greater risk for developing heart disease after menopause.

Women with diabetes will suffer from high cholesterol. High cholesterol can be controlled by specially designed diet with low saturated fat, weight loss, regular exercises and if necessary medication.

The other health issues which might develop in women with diabetes are High Blood Pressure, the ideal blood pressure for those with it is less than 130/80 mm/Hg, according to the American Diabetes Association. Urinary tract infection and vaginal yeast infection are the most common infections with the diabetic women.

Irregular menstrual cycle might occur in women with diabetes. Adverse reaction to contraceptive birth control pills. Although rare in healthy individuals, the risk of complications from birth control pills, such as high blood pressure and stroke, are greater for women with diabetes. However, the American Diabetes Association says most birth control methods are safe for women with diabetes—talk to your health care professional about any potential risks.

Though it is a chronic disease it can be effectively managed if it is diagnosed properly. If it is not properly taken care of then the individual with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop serious or deadly complications from high glucose levels including blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage, as well as vascular disease that can lead to amputations, heart disease and strokes. Uncontrolled diabetes can complicate pregnancy; birth defects also are more common in babies born to women with uncontrolled diabetes.

For women who are suffering from type 1, taking more than one shot a day of insulin, having controlled diet, regular exercises and testing it occasionally and adhering to strict diet can help them fight the disease.

Type 2 can be initially controlled by planned diet, exercise and monitoring the glucose level on a daily basis. To reduce your risk, follow the “ABC” approach recommended by the National Diabetes Education Program, National Institute of Health and the American Diabetes Association. The ABCs are easy to remember:

  • A stands for the A1C, or hemoglobin A1C test, which measures average blood glucose over the previous two to three months
  • B is for blood pressure
  • C is for cholesterol



Healthdrip writes about health and medical news and articles.