Exactly What is Diabetes
What is it , which types are there & how to manage it

"What is diabetes exactly?" Before we talk about natural ways to manage diabetes, we want to answer this question first. This way you'll get a better idea about what it is and where it comes from, in order to start a diabetes management plan that is fit for your specific situation

First we will start with some basic Diabetes Information. You can also immediately visit one of our other diabetes pages if you already have basic understanding and just want to know more about natural treatments and natural management of this disease

what is diabetes

Where does the name diabetes come from?

Now as well as in the past when naming a disease or condition people often use terms that describe its most obvious symptoms. The actual name "diabetes" is borrowed from the Greek word which means "a siphon." In the 2nd-century A.D. a Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, gave this condition the name "diabetes." He explained patients suffering from it had "polyuria" which means that they passed urine like a siphon

What is diabetes?

To answer the question: "what is diabetes exactly?" first we will take a look at how our body is supposed to work normally in breaking down food to supply itself with energy

When our body breaks down our food one of the parts that gets into our bloodstream is a sugar called glucose. Our body needs glucose as a source of energy; it's the fuel that keeps our system running. An important gland organ called the pancreas produces insulin, (to be more precise it is actually in the islets of Langerhans, a smaller part of the pancreas)

We need insulin as a kind of "key" so that most of our cells including muscle, brain, fat tissue and liver cells can let the glucose in from the blood. They in turn store it and use it as fuel. The level of your blood sugar should of course not be too high or too low, but neatly in the middle. Later more about this

Again, what is diabetes and what is wrong then?

If you have diabetes, you have a problem in your metabolic system, that is the system of breaking down and distributing food as fuel for your body. The system of transferring glucose in the cells does not work as it is supposed to. The sugar in your blood is not used up so the sugar or glucose level in your blood becomes higher than normal

Higher levels of blood sugar or glucose (hyperglycemia) lead to glucose spilling over into the urine. As a result of higher levels of blood glucose two problems occur:

  • First body cells become starved for energy
  • Second, in time the high glucose levels can damage the nerves, eyes, kidneys, heart and blood vessels

All this can have several reasons depending on which type of diabetes you suffer from. There are a few different types of diabetes, here we will take a closer look at them

Major Diabetes types

Diabetes Mellitus (what we normally call Diabetes) which can be divided in:

  • Diabetes type 1 or what we used to call: insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes or childhood onset diabetes
  • Diabetes type 2 or what we used to call: non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes or glucose intolerance during pregnancy or Pregnancy Diabetes
  • Pre Diabetes
  • Secondary Diabetes
  • Diabetes Insipidus

What is Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes (also referred to as type i diabetes or type one diabetes.)

Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes or childhood onset diabetes because it is usually found in children and young adults but can also develop in adults

In diabetes type 1 the parts in the pancreas which are supposed to produce insulin are not doing their job. Your body simply doesn't make insulin. With no insulin to "connect" between the glucose and the cells your blood sugar level rises

Type 2 Diabetes (also referred to as type ii diabetes, type two diabetes)

Type 2 diabetes used to be called Adult Diabetes or Adult Onset Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a result of your body not using the insulin in the way it is meant to. Your cells are resistant or less sensitive to insulin, this sometimes together with a lowering or even no insulin production. As a result blood sugar level rises

Obese or overweight people and People of middle and older age seem to sufferer most of Type 2 Diabetes. It is also the most common type and is found in 90% of people diagnosed with diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes (GDM)

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It is practically the same as type 2 diabetes with high blood sugar levels because of a lowered or no insulin production and lowered sensitivity to insulin

Gestational Diabetes is a temporary condition and it will probably get better or disappear after the baby is born. After childbirth however both mother and child do run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life

Gestational Diabetes occurs in 2 to 5% of all pregnancies

What is Pre Diabetes

Pre Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Almost all people who develop the more serious type 2 diabetes had pre diabetes

Recent research shows that during pre diabetes the heart and the blood vessel system are already starting to be damaged

But pre diabetes can be managed when you take action to lower your blood glucose level. This way you can also delay or prevent developing type 2 diabetes

An estimated 57 Million Americans have pre diabetes

What is Secondary Diabetes

Secondary Diabetes is a large group of different health problems. These conditions either damage, injure or cause destruction to the pancreas

The diabetes is not the main problem, it is a secondary condition that results because of the main illness. If it is possible to treat the main illness successfully the diabetes may/will disappear

In general the conditions are caused by hormonal problems, genetics, malignancies / cancers or are caused by chemicals or drugs

What is Diabetes Insipidus (DI)

Diabetes Insipidus is only related to the other diabetes types because of its symptoms. In causes and treatment it totally differs from the other diabetes varieties

In Diabetes Insipidus the urine is not sweet (insipidus meaning "without taste" in Latin); it can be caused by either kidney (nephrogenic DI) or pituitary gland (central DI) damage. It is a noninfectious disease. Among the body systems affected are the nerve, digestive, circulatory, endocrine and urinary systems

Early symptoms Diabetes

Next we'll talk about the early symptoms for diabetes, we'll take a look at the obvious and less obvious warning signs

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For more info on diabetes visit National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) or Joslin diabetes center

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