Diabetes Mellitus Info

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Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile onset diabetes as it is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas and this can happen at any stage of life regardless of lifestyle (the exact cause is unknown).

Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes as it is a lifestyle disorder where the pancreas can no longer produce insulin to match the demands of a diet that’s high in sugar and processed starch.

Type 2 diabetes is, however becoming more common in children, thanks to poor diet and lack of exercise – think of the amount of sugar in the average soft drink, plus all the hidden sugars added to foods these days.

Diabetes Mellitus Info Fact #2

The name “diabetes mellitus” comes from two Greek words that describe the classic early symptoms of diabetes. The word “diabetes” means “siphon” or “running through”, which refers to the copious urination that occurs as the body tries to rid itself of the excess sugar in the bloodstream via urine.

The second word, “mellitus”, means “sweetness” as the urine that is passed is very high in sugar. If someone in the early stages of diabetes relieves themselves outdoors behind a bush (and as people at this stage of the condition have to urinate frequently and copiously, the chances that they will get “caught short” and have to do this is high – sorry!), ants will be attracted to where the urine is because of the sugar levels. This was used as a means of diagnosis in days gone by.

Diabetes Mellitus Info Fact # 3

People with Type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin several times a day for the rest of their life. Those with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar levels with good diet and exercise. However, those with Type 2 diabetes may also have to take insulin in tablet form or as injections.

Research is continually going on to find a means of curing or treating Type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Mellitus Info Fact #4

People with diabetes of any type can live a normal, healthy lifestyle. With good management of food and insulin intake, people with Type 1 diabetes can perform well in sports and can make it to international level if they have the necessary drive, talent and ambition.

As Type 2 diabetes is linked to poor diet and lack of exercise, you do not see many people with Type 2 diabetes in the sporting world (if any). This is because the good diet and exercise can control Type 2 diabetes and even reverse it completely.

Diabetes Mellitus Info Fact # 5

People with diabetes do not have to avoid sugar for the rest of their lives. In fact, as injecting insulin can sometimes mean that blood sugar levels can drop below normal levels, which can induce coma if left untreated. If levels drop too low (hypoglycaemia), the best treatment is to eat a small amount of something sugary. Jelly beans are particularly popular “treatments” but other things, such as a spoonful of honey or 100 ml of regular (not diet) soft drink work just as well.