( Chinese)
Let's Talk About Diabetes Mellitus
[Translation: PhilCheung.com]

How dangerous is diabetes? According to 2004 statistics, diabetes ranks fourth in cause of death. An estimated of over 100 million people will suffer from diabetes. World Health Organization predicts the global diabetes population will double by 2030! Because diabetes is a major health threat, everyone must have the awareness of the disease.

Why is diabetes called "sugar urine disease" in Chinese?

Our digestive system turns the starch from the food we ate into glucose in order to produce energy. In the process of energy production, we need insulin supplied by the pancreas. If there is insufficient supply of insulin, glucose will remain unused and accumulate in the blood. Due to the increased concentration, blood sugar travels through the kidney to urine forming "sugar urine".

People thin or fat, can have diabetes

Diabetes is a disease due to metabolic imbalance of carbohydrate, and the disease is delineated into two types based on causes:

(Type I diabetes): the body's immune system to attack its own damaging the pancreas, therefore it is unable to produce insulin. Type I diabetes happens more in children in early childhood, mostly lean. Patients eat, drink and urinate more often than usual. Their typical symptoms include fatigue, nausea, thirsty, weight loss, decreased vision, as well as difficulty to heal wounds.

(Type II diabetes): the body cannot fully utilize insulin produced, causing insulin to reduce over time. This type happens more on people after middle age with obesity. The symptoms of this type take longer time to develop. That's why many patients are not aware of the existence of the disease.

Busy and stressful lives, convenient fast food, less exercise ... type II diabetes have started to occur in younger people, even elementary school students are beginning have diabetes. This is a very serious problem that we must be vigilant.

Diabetes is life-threatening

The most scary aspect of diabetes is that it serious complications with the long period of high blood sugar. Examples are cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and stroke), retinal diseases (cataracts, glaucoma, and blindness), renal disease (hypertension, uremia, and urinary tract infection), neuropathy (lower limb tingling, tingling) , wound healing dysfunction (bacterial infection, need for amputation), skin lesions (athlete's foot, tinea), joint disease ... and so on.

According to statistics, the probability of diabetic blindness is 25 times higher than ordinary people; kidney disease, 20 times higher, lower limb amputation rate 10 times higher, coronary heart disease and stroke rates 2 to 4 times higher. Once these complications occur, it will drastically affect the quality of life and, most serious of all it is life-threatening.

How risky are you?

In the early stage of diabetes there is no symptoms at all or perhaps only mild discomfort. The average time period in diabetes development, from asymptomatic to symptomatic, is about a 10 years. If three symptoms of diabetes (high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high blood lipid) show up, the blood sugar level has skyrocketed to 250 ~ 300 mg/dl. The disease is not easy to diagnose without a physical examination. Therefore, regular health check up is the means of early detection of the diseases. It involves measurements of fasting and postprandial blood glucose as well as other medical test readings to understand the blood sugar condition.

Measurements:

---------------- After fasting ------------- without fasting
-------------- (empty stomach) -------- (stomach not empty)

Normal -------- < 110 mg/dl -------------------- < 140 mm/dl
Border line ----- 110-128 mg/dl --------------- 140-200 mm/dl
Diabetic -------- > 128 mg/dl ------------------- > 200 mm/dl

People at high risk of having diabetes

People in the following conditions are at a higher risk, and will need regular check up:

1, family history of diabetes.
2, obese.
3, 45 years and older.
4, have given birth to a baby more than 4 kg and had high blood sugar during pregnancy.
5, had high blood sugar records.
6, high calorie diet without regular exercise.
7, high blood pressure (> 140/90mmHg)
8, high blood fat (triglyceride > 250mg/dl, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol > 35mg/dl)

How to control blood sugar

Proactive control of blood glucose is important for health. The fasting plasma glucose to 110mg/dl people with mild glucose abnormalities should begin to adjust their diet and exercise habits including the need to change his/her lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes:

Maintain a balanced diet with high fiber, low sugar, and low fat. Nowadays, the market has available healthy food to help regulating blood sugar, blood sugar. Pay attention to food labels approved by FDA, or a local health authority.

Try to keep calm and relax, learn how to overcome tensions and release from stress. Do not stay up late, quit smoking and being alcoholic. Go for regular physicals and exercise on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Thus far, there is no known cure for diabetes. But if you can address the seriousness of diabetes with an improved lifestyle, a balanced diet and regular check-ups, you can keep the threat of diabetes at a distance.
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