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Diabetes Causes, Symptoms, Myths and Facts

Diabetes is a general term used to describe an elevation of glucose (blood sugar) levels in the body. The primary cause of diabetes is pancreatic failure. When the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the produced insulin is not able to work effectively in the body, diabetes is the result.

Three Types Of Diabetes:

Type I Diabetes: This is also known as “insulin dependant” diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is a form of Type I. The cause of this type of diabetes is a lack of insulin or non-functioning insulin. In some cases, patients require insulin injections in order to bring their blood sugar levels to healthy standards.

Type II Diabetes: This “adult onset” type of diabetes occurs over time. As our bodies age, they can gradually become resistant to insulin. This form of diabetes can be directly linked to certain lifestyle choices, such as diet and physical activity.

Gestational Diabetes: Some women may develop this form of diabetes during the later stages of pregnancy. Not all women are prone to gestational diabetes, however the condition should be discussed with a doctor or health-care provider.

Symptoms of Diabetes:

* Excessive thirst
* Frequent urination
* Weight loss
* Increased hunger
* Infected skin or gums
* Blurred vision
* Bladder infections
* Irritability
* Wounds that won’t heal
* Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
* Unexplained tiredness and lethargy

Knowing the symptoms of diabetes is only half the battle for staying healthy. To be aware of your potential for developing the disease, you also need to know who’s at risk.

The following factors can determine who may be prone to developing Type II diabetes:

* Age 45 and over
* Overweight
* Habitually physically inactive
* Genetically predisposed; family history of diabetes
* Suffer from elevated blood pressure
* History of vascular disease
* History of polycystic ovary syndrome

The Things You Cannot Change

While there are certain factors to the onset of diabetes, they are not what many people typically consider to be causes. Some things you can’t control, and it’s important to separate the myths from the realities. Here are a few common misconceptions:

MYTH: Eating sweets or the wrong types of food will cause diabetes.
FACT: Diet does not cause diabetes. It can, however, help to control the effects of the disease.

MYTH: Stress causes diabetes.
FACT: Again, stress is not a direct cause, but regular physical exercise will help to reduce stress and deliver overall health benefits to your entire body.

MYTH: Diabetes is contagious.
FACT: You cannot catch diabetes, and you cannot pass the disease on to someone else.

It cannot be stressed enough that the cause of diabetes is triggered purely by the internal functions of your body, and the body’s incapacity of insulin to perform its duties. No one who has diabetes is “at fault” for developing the disease. It is, however, a very serious condition and must be respected. Diabetes can be fatal if neglected, so be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and check your blood sugar as often as possible to keep an upper hand on the disease.

If you live with diabetes, you will have to make some lifestyle changes. It’s really nothing drastic, but you will have to be aware of your blood sugar levels, and stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine. In the end, your entire body, not just your diabetes, will be better for it.

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