Alternative Approaches To The Treatment Of Diabetes

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Alternative Approaches To The Treatment Of Diabetes Essay, Research Paper Alternative Approaches to the Treatment of Diabetes Diabetes is a general term for a disease caused by defective carbohydrate metabolism and characterized by abnormally large amounts of sugar in the blood and urine. Diabetes is usually classified into two types. Type I or insulin-dependent diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset, usually occurs in children and young adults; and, Type II, or non-insulin dependent diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes) is found in persons over 40 years old and progresses slowly (Funk and Wagnalls 183). Diabetes is considered a group of disorders with multiple causes, rather than a single disorder. The human pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin that

promotes the entry of sugar glucose into all tissues of the body, providing energy for bodily activities. In a person with diabetes, however, the entry of glucose is impaired, either as a result of deficiency in the amount of insulin produced or of a blocking of the action of the insulin. Consequently, sugar builds up in the blood and is discharged in the urine. In a Type I diabetic, the problem is almost always a severe or total reduction in insulin production. In Type II diabetes, the pancreas often makes a considerable quantity of insulin, but the hormone is unable to promote the entry of glucose into tissues (Funk and Wagnalls 183). There are many short and long-term complications from diabetes. If untreated Type 1 diabetes can be quickly fatal. It is accompanied by nausea,

excessive thirst, frequent urination, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, and rapid deep breathing. Failure to respond with injections of insulin can result in a diabetic coma, or death (Medical Advisor 319). Long-term complications of diabetes include damage to the eyes, nervous system, kidneys, and cardiovascular and circulatory systems, as well as weakening of the bodies overall resistance to infection. Complications from diabetes are the primary cause of adult blindness in the United States. Within 10 years of their diagnosis over 50 percent of all diabetics develop a disorder called diabetic retinopathy. This weakens the capillaries that supply blood to the retina, and eventually effects vision. Diabetics are also more likely to develop cataracts and glaucoma (Medical Advisor

319). People with diabetes have a higher chance of heart disease and circulatory problems such as high blood pressure, hardening of arteries, heart attacks, and strokes. A number of people with diabetes suffer from a condition known as diabetic neuropathy, which causes a gradual deterioration in the nervous system. Many develop slowed reflexes, loss of sensation, numbness and tingling in legs, impotence, and circulatory problems (Medical Advisor 319). Treatment for both forms of diabetes requires adjustment of insulin levels in the body and strict management of diet and exercise. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it is essential that you receive supplementary insulin every day, at least twice a day to promote your bodies use of blood glucose. Since insulin is a protein and is

destroyed by digestive enzymes, it cannot be taken orally, it must instead be injected directly into the body at set intervals (Medical Advisor 319). Most insulin in use today is processed synthetically, although some is still derived from animal hormone. Insulin comes in three types: short acting, taking effect in 30 to 40 minutes and lasting 6 hours, intermediate acting, taking effect in 3 to 4 hours and lasting up to 24 hours, and long acting, taking effect in 6 to 8 hours and lasting up to 30 hours. By monitoring you own blood glucose level, you can track your bodies fluctuating insulin demand, and better regulate it (Hull 285). For most people with Type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise are sufficient to keep the disease under control. Others require drug therapy, which may