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The Three Different Types of Diabetes

Introduction

Scientifically termed as diabetes mellitus, diabetes constitutes a severe medical challenge afflicting people in virtually every part of the world. In this paper, attention is focused on examination of history of diabetes, its definition, causes, treatment options, types, and the groups of people affected by it.

The Body

History indicates that, Egyptians identified diabetes, though not described initially by this term, as early as 1500 B.C. However, Sushrutra, an Indian physician, first described the earliest description of the condition in 6th century B.C. (Ripoll and Leutholtz 13). Sushrutra first named the condition in which a person’s urine had some sweet taste- Madhumeha. In this context, arguably, Sushrutra is the person behind the discovery of diabetes. More interestingly, Sushrutra attributed Madhumeha to excess weight and sedentary lifestyles-something that has not changed for now a period of 2,600 years, especially in the case of type II diabetes. In the first century Areneous- a Greek physician, coined the technical term “diabetes” which mean “to siphon” to describe the nature of the sweet taste in the urine. To Areneous, excessive urination causes siphoning off body fluids amongst the people afflicted by the diabetes. In English medical history, the term diabetes was first used in 1425 to describe the same condition describe by Sushrutra and Areneous (Ripoll and Leutholtz 13). In 1675, Thomas Willis deployed the term “diabetes mellitus” to describe the same condition. Joseph Von Metering- a German physician, and Oskar Minkowski- a German scientist, described the relationship between diabetes and pancreases. Since then, various forms of diabetes have been address immensely with numerous studies being conducted on pancreas culmination. This has lead to discovery coupled with subsequent mass manufacturing of insulin for treatment of diabetes amongst people as from 1921.

In modern day, the term diabetes refers to a number of related diseases leading the body being unable to regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the human body blood. Diabetes is of three main types-type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. People afflicted by diabetes type 1 lacks the ability to produce enough insulin. Those affected by type 2 diabetes are unable to use insulin properly. When one is affected by diabetes, the movement of glucose is inefficient, making the levels of glucose in the blood high. As a result, various cells starve and some tissues may be infected due to exposure to high levels of glucose. 10% of people that are affected by diabetes in the US have type 1 diabetes (Wild et al.1048). Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed either during adolescent or child hood. It may also result from destruction of pancreases by alcohol in older people. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed during adulthood (mostly above 45 years). It accounts for 90% all diabetic people (Wild et al.1049). On the other hand, gestational diabetes is related to and linked to pregnancy. Even women without diabetes history are found prone to affliction by the disease due to high sugar concentration in their bodies during pregnancy.

The prevalence of diabetes is arguably on the rise globally as evidenced by the graphs below showing the prevalence of diabetes in the US from 1980 to 2005 on an age basis across all races (figure 1). It is also apparent that the prevalence of diabetes is also related to race as shown in the graph of prevalence of diabetes based on race or ethnicity in 2002 (figure 2).

Diabetes prevalence per age group

Figure 1 
Figure 1 

Age adjusted total prevalence of diabetes in people aged 20 years or older, by race/ ethnicity-united states, 2002

Figure 2 
Figure 2 

The causes of diabetes are valid. Diabetes type1 is essentially autoimmune. This means that it results when “the immunity cells of the body attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreases” (Rother 1499). Environmental factors such as viral infections coupled with hereditary factors may cause diabetes type 1, but genetic links are more associated with diabetes type 2. Other factors that cause diabetes type 2 includes: ethnicity, high amounts of alcohol intakes, overweight, large amounts of fat intakes, aging, sedentary life styles and hypertension (high blood pressure) among other causes. Symptoms of diabetes type 1 include Ketoacidosis; condition evidenced by vomiting and nausea and accompanied later by potassium levels disturbances in the body, and infections of urinary tract partly due to viral infections or injury. In case ketoacidiosis goes untreated, it translates into a comma and finally death.

The symptoms of diabetes type 2 include stress, steroids, and a syndrome called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic (Saydah et al.1398). The symptoms that are common, to the forms of diabetes include blurred vision; infections such repeated yeast infections in genitals, skin, and urinary tract; wounds may heal poorly; alteration of mental status such as agitation, confusion, irritability, which cannot be explained, and inattention among others; excessive thirst; excessive eating; fatigue and large weight losses which cannot be explained. Diabetes is treated in several ways. People with diabetes type 1 are normally treated by the administration of insulin on a daily basis to sustain their life. On the other hand, people with diabetes type 2 are treated through exercise, diet control, weight loss therapies or even administration of oral medications. As it is today, there exists no known cure for diabetes type 1 and 2.

Conclusion

Conclusively, considering the prevalence of diabetes and the fact that its complete cure remains unknown, the disease is challenging even to date. The situation is even more critical especially on considering the increased rate of obesity and overweight prevalence among American population.

Works Cited

Data 360. Prevalence of Diabetes, 2012.Web.

National Health Interview Survey. National Diabetes Statistics, 2002. Web.

Ripoll, Brian, and Ignacio Leutholtz. Exercise and Disease Management. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2007. Print.

Rother, Kristina. “Diabetes Treatment—Bridging the Divide”. The New England Journal Of Medicine 356.15 (2007): 1499–1501. Print.

Saydah, Sharon, et al. “Postchallenge Hyperglycemia and Mortality in a National Sample of U.S. Adults.” Diabetes Care 24.8 (2001): 1397–1402. Print.

Wild, Sarah, et al. “Global Prevalence of Diabetes: Estimates for the Year 2000 and Projections for 2030”. Diabetes Care 27.5 (2004): 1047–1053. Print.

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