When we all view 2012 as far-fetched, medical researchers think anticipating 2025 is more realistic as it is computed to have a significant increase in the rates of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) occurrence especially in developing countries.
Why is this so? We have to understand that the prevalence of DM is multi-factorial. The only edge well-developed countries have above developing ones is the ability to allocate funds to support their health needs. Apart from this, factors like genetics, environmental triggers, lifestyle (i.e. diet, lack of physical exercises) and pre-existing disorders may contribute to the susceptibility of populations to DM.
DM is a group of metabolic disorders varying in onset and target age groups. In anatomy, the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas produce beta cells that are responsible for the production of insulin. DMs I and II (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus and Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, respectively) occur in the event that the pancreas fails to produce significant amounts of insulin and when insulin resistance is met thus, interrupting bodily functions. Reported facts show that there are over 18 million U.S. citizens that are affected by this disorder. The World Health Organization believes that DM has reached “epidemic proportions” and expects 80% of all new cases of DM to be seen in developing countries by the year 2025. According to the
Chronic complications of DM are the following:
- Macrovascular Complications
1) Coronary artery disease
2) Cerebrovascular disease
4) Peripheral Vascular disease
- Microvascular Complications
- Mixed Vascular and Neuropathic Disorders
1) Ulceration and gangrene formation on the lower extremities
MACROVASCULAR COMPLICATIONS, especially coronary artery disease is the most common cause of death in diabetics, accounting for 40-60% of all cases of diabetes-related macrovascular diseases.
MICROVASCULAR COMPLICATIONS, such as diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States among adults 20-74 years of age. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the retina is deprived of oxygen-carrying blood accompanied by capillary destruction results in tissue anoxia (the lack of oxygen) which eventually leads to blindness.
Microangiopathy (the change in capillaries in the diabetic) also occurs in nephropathy as decreased oxygen supply is delivered to the kidneys and tissue anoxia also takes place and kidney failure soon transpires.
MIXED VASCULAR AND NEUROPATHIC DISORDERS
The complications of delayed wound healing accounts for the numerous cases of below the knee amputation (BKA) in diabetic patients especially when there is already gangrene present. Peripheral vascular neuropathy occurs when peripheral nerve endings weaken and can not perceive pain, thus leading to late management of lower extremity wounds. The delay in the management leads to wound abscess leading to gangrene formation and eventually would require amputation.
Tips and comments:
Being proactive is better than being reactive in terms of health management. So do yourself a favor and value your health now or regret later. DM is a lifetime disorder which means its management is long-term—you can just imagine how hard it would be. It is suspected that DM may contribute to secondary disorders such as the Alzheimer’s Disorder and other forms of dementia. To avoid DM a change in lifestyle is necessary.
MODIFICATIONS IN LIFESTYLE INCLUDE:
Talk to a nutritionist and inquire about how you can adapt a new diet that may help you to maintain a healthy status. Though eating a balanced diet plays a key role in health maintenance. For those who are at risk to develop DM, limit your intake of complex carbohydrates instead take whole wheat products daily such as oatmeal and brown rice to help control serum glucose levels.
Remember: each bite you take on that double chocolate fudge brownie takes you a step closer to a lifetime of insulin replacement!
Get-up and about! Maintain your ideal body weight because people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk in developing DM in their later years. Be prepared to lose those extra baggage if you want to grow old healthy! Instead of taking that trip to the refrigerator each evening, sleep early, wake up early and take your dog for a jog around the park-- that way you lose weight and feel more energetic throughout the day.
GO VISIT DOC
There is no harm in visiting doc for a check-up. This will give you a heads-up on how your body is doing and if your serum glucose levels are within normal range. Also, never hesitate to seek professional help when you experience signs and symptoms of any kind of suspected disorder, remember early detection is much better and less embarrassing.
READ, READ and READ!
Make it a point to read on materials regarding reported facts on Diabetes Mellitus to enrich your knowledge. Be in the know zone! Read books, journals, magazines and even go online to websites featuring diabetes.
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