Saturday, May 26, 2012


 Diabetes is detected by measuring the amount of glucose in the blood after an individual has fasted (abstained from food) for about eight hours. In some cases, physicians diagnose diabetes by administering an oral glucose tolerance test, which measures glucose levels before and after a specific amount of sugar has been ingested. 

 Once diabetes is diagnosed, treatment consists of controlling the amount of glucose in the blood and preventing complications. Depending on the type of diabetes, this can be accomplished through regular physical exercise, a carefully controlled diet, and medication. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must receive insulin, often two to four times a day, to provide the body with the hormone it does not produce. Insulin cannot be taken orally, because it is destroyed in the digestive system. 

Consequently, insulin-dependent diabetics have historically injected the drug using a hypodermic needle or a beeper-sized pump connected to a needle inserted under the skin. In 2006 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a form of insulin that can be inhaled and then is absorbed by blood in the lungs. The amount of insulin needed varies from person to person and may be influenced by factors such as a person’s level of physical activity, diet, and the presence of other health disorders. 

Typically, individuals with Type 1 diabetes use a meter several times a day to measure the level of glucose in a drop of their blood obtained by pricking a fingertip. They can then adjust the dosage of insulin, physical exercise, or food intake to maintain the blood sugar at a normal level. People with Type 1 diabetes must carefully control their diets by distributing meals and snacks throughout the day so as not to overwhelm the ability of the insulin supply to help cells absorb glucose. They also need to eat foods that contain complex sugars, which break down slowly and cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Although most persons with Type 1 diabetes strive to lower the amount of glucose in their blood, levels that are too low can also cause health problems. For example, if a person with Type 1 diabetes takes too much insulin, it can produce low blood sugar levels. This may result in hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by shakiness, confusion, and anxiety. 

A person who develops hypoglycemia can combat symptoms by ingesting glucose tablets or by consuming foods with high sugar content, such as fruit juices or hard candy. In order to control insulin levels, people with Type 1 diabetes must monitor their glucose levels several times a day. In 1983 a group of 1,441 Type 1 diabetics aged 13 to 39 began participating in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the largest scientific study of diabetes treatment ever undertaken. The DCCT studied the potential for reducing diabetes-related complications, such as nerve or kidney disease or eye disorders, by having patients closely monitor their blood sugar levels four to six times a day, maintaining the levels as close to normal as possible. The results of the study, reported in 1993, showed a 50 to 75 percent reduction of diabetic complications in people who aggressively monitored and controlled their glucose levels. Although the study was performed on people with Type 1 diabetes, researchers believe that close monitoring of blood sugar levels would also benefit people with Type 2 diabetes. For persons with Type 2 diabetes, treatment begins with diet control, exercise, and weight reduction, although over time this treatment may not be adequate. 

People with Type 2 diabetes typically work with nutritionists to formulate a diet plan that regulates blood sugar levels so that they do not rise too swiftly after a meal. A recommended meal is usually low in fat (30 percent or less of total calories), provides moderate protein (10 to 20 percent of total calories), and contains a variety of carbohydrates, such as beans, vegetables, and grains. Regular exercise helps body cells absorb glucose—even ten minutes of exercise a day can be effective. Diet control and exercise may also play a role in weight reduction, which appears to partially reverse the body’s inability to use insulin. For some people with Type 2 diabetes, diet, exercise, and weight reduction alone may work initially, but eventually this regimen does not help control high blood sugar levels. In these cases, oral medication may be prescribed. 

If oral medications are ineffective, a person with Type 2 diabetes may need insulin doses or a combination of oral medication and insulin. About 50 percent of individuals with Type 2 diabetes require oral medications, 40 percent require insulin or a combination of insulin and oral medications, and 10 percent use diet and exercise alone.

1 komentar:

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