Diabetes And The Long Term Dangers
Diabetes has hidden dangers that begin before diagnosis and continue to worsen if certain steps are not taken to prevent the complications that are the true, “killers” in terms of diabetes.
Statistics show that there are around 18 million diabetics in America, both Type 1 and Type 2. It is amazing how many people, diabetics included, who have no idea what dangers a diabetic faces over their lifetime. A diabetic, all things being equal, lives almost 10 years less than their non-diabetic counterpart on average.
Why do diabetics life shorter life spans than non-diabetics? The answer is both simple and complicated. Simple in explaining in general terms, complicated in the medical sense. Without traveling the complicated route in this article, I will try to give a simple, straight forward answer to the above question. Diabetics live shorter lives than non-diabetics because of diabetic complications.
What Are Diabetic Complications?
Diabetic complications are chronic medical conditions that begin to affect the body of the diabetic. These complications are brought about mostly by a condition the medical community had named, “Advanced Glycation End products” which is simply, “excess sugar” saturating the inside of the cells of the body. This condition also called AGE for short includes coronary artery disease, vascular disease, blindness, kidney disease, retinopathy (blindness) and loss of feeling in the hands and the feet (peripheral neuropathy) among others.
Diabetes in the early stages does not produce symptoms. Unless found during a routine medical exam, it is possible for a diabetic to remain undiagnosed for years. It is during these Glucofort years that the beginnings of diabetic complications can gain a foothold due excess sugar in the cells (AGE). The statistics show there is the possibility of as many as over 5 million people going about their normal lives while having undiagnosed diabetes.
Are Diabetic Complications A Certainty?
While the current consensus is that the formula for diabetic complications Diabetes + Time = Complications. What this means is there is a much higher potential of a diabetic becoming diagnosed with one or more diabetic complications over time. This is partly due to how well the individual monitors and controls his/her blood sugar.
Drastic rises and falls of blood sugar can be hard on the body and the excess sugar present in the cells create havoc on the different nerves within the body as well as the capillaries, veins, and arteries. The evidence to date show that excellent control of blood sugar and an active lifestyle goes a very long way in preventing and/or slowing down the onset of diabetic complications.
The Different Types Of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes – Type One and Type Two. Type One attacks children and young adults and is characterized by the pancreas failing to produce insulin which is a hormone that breaks down sugars and starches while converting them into energy. Type Two occurs usually later in an adult’s life and is characterized by the pancreas being unable to produce enough insulin due to several factors, obesity being one of them.
Around 10 percent of diabetics are Type One while the other 90 percent are Type Two. The major difference between the two being that Type One diabetics are completely dependent on insulin and take daily injections while the Type Two’s have both those who require insulin shots while others can rely on oral medication and/or changes in diet and exercise.