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Diabetes: What you need to know!



What is Diabetes?

The complete name for diabetes is Diabetes Mellitus. The word Diabetes comes from an ancient Greek word meaning a ‘siphon’. The Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia first used the word over 2000 years ago to refer to the excessive discharge of urine that is a major symptom of diabetes. The word diabetes was first used in English in a medical text written in 1425.

The word Mellitus comes from the Latin word for honey-sweet. It was added to the word diabetes by Thomas Willis in 1675 when he noticed the the urine of diabetics had a sweet taste. This had also been noticed by ancient Greeks,Egyptians, Chinese, Indians and Persians.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease where a high level of blood sugar is present over a long period. It is caused by a lack of the hormone insulin or from insulin resistance. This in turn interferes with the body’s ability to get glucose from the blood into cells in order to provide the energy that cells, muscles and organs require in order to function healthily.

What are the symptoms?

  1. Frequent Urination – This is also termed polyuria which is diagnosed when a person passes more than 3 Liters of urine a day. The average for a healthy person is between 1 and 2 Liters.
  2. Excessive Thirst – the technical name for this is polydipsia. This is one of the first symptoms of diabetes and is often accompanied by dryness of the mouth.
  3. Excessive Hunger – the medical word for this is polyphagia. This is one of the main symptoms of diabetes. If you suffer from diabetes, insufficient insulin in your body prevents glucose in the blood from being adequately absorbed by the cells, muscles and organs that need it. This shortage of energy is interpreted by the brain as hunger.
  4. Extreme Tiredness or fatigue – this is caused by the diabetic body’s inability to get sufficient glucose from the blood in order to provide cells with the energy that they need.
  5. Dizziness – the most common causes of dizziness in diabetics are low blood pressure, dehydration and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  6. Weight loss – because the diabetic can’t get enough glucose from the blood to fuel the body, the body begins to burn fat and muscle as an alternate source of energy. If you have experienced Inexplicable loss of about 10% of body weight within 6 to 12 months or less you should consult a doctor in order to get tested for diabetes.
  7. Other symptoms include blurred vision, slow healing of cuts or bruises and nausea.
  8. Erectile Dysfunction – between 35 to 75% of men with diabetes will experience some form of erectile dysfunction. Men with diabetes are also likely to experience these problems between 10 and 15 years earlier than average. Erectile dysfunction in diabetics is the direct result of damage to nerve and blood vessels that are caused by diabetes.

Diabetes statistics

It is estimated that about 387 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide. Diabetes is divided into types I), II) and III) but 90% of cases are of the type 2 variety. 387 million sufferers represents about 8.3% of the world’s adult population. Diabetes will double your risk of death by at least 50% and the global cost of diabetes worldwide in 2014 has been estimated to equal $612 Billion Dollars.

Type 2 diabetes and insulin

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the beta cells found in the Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas. Its main function is to

“regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue and by causing fat to be stored rather than used for energy. Insulin also inhibits the production of glucose by the liver.”

When a person suffers from Type 2 diabetes insulin production in the body is reduced and also the body develops a resistance to the insulin that is available. The cause of this resistance is believed to involve the insulin receptors but the specific details are unknown.

If the amount of insulin available is insufficient, if cells respond poorly to the effects of insulin (insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance), or if the insulin itself is defective, then glucose will not be absorbed properly by the body cells that require it, and it will not be stored appropriately in the liver and muscles.

In the early stages of Type 2 diabetes the reduced insulin sensitivity and the resulting high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) can be reversed with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.

Diabetes treatment and management

There is no known cure for Type 2 Diabetes. Because of this it is very important that the condition is well managed. This management involves keeping blood sugar levels within a normal range without causing low blood sugar. This can be achieved through a combination of healthy diet, weight loss and exercise and also the use of medication such as oral or injected insulin. Diabetics should not smoke as this further strains the already compromised cardiovascular system. It is also very important for diabetics to watch their weight and their blood pressure.

How to treat Erectile Dysfunction if you are diabetic.

As mentioned above, Erectile Dysfunction, is a very common symptom of diabetes. By controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels the severity of erectile dysfunction can be lessened. Also correct exercise and diet will help. The oral medications that are available for erectile dysfunction can be used by diabetics but the success rates of these drugs is lower than that experienced by men without diabetes and there are also sometimes complications so a doctor should always be consulted if you are diabetic and want to take these drugs.

Oral Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction

Oral medications available to treat erectile dysfunction have been used by people with diabetes. In general, however, the success rate of these medications is less than the reported success rates in people without diabetes. These medications may help 50% to 60% of men with diabetes but diabetes sufferers often report unpleasant side effects such as headache, facial flushing, blocked nose and distorted vision.

For a natural and herbal alternative to prescription drugs diabetics have had excellent results with Herbal Remedies International’s Virekta Super Active.

Get tested!

If you suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above please consult your doctor who will be able to get your blood sugar levels measured and advise you on how to manage the disease. With an early diagnosis of diabetes and correct medication together with a healthy diet and lifestyle you can still live a long and healthy life and a long and healthy sex life too!