The illness of diabetes has been known since the days of Aristotle. Only in the last 50 years has medical science been able to create hope for diabetics through a variety of medications, including insulin.
However, there is no known cure for diabetes, though there are more than a few cases where patients have been able to overcome the illness and return to a normal lifestyle free of injections or a daily medication regimen.
For most people, they will have to live with the potential complications of diabetes, which include blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage. The basic reason diabetes plats havoc with a body is the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin and regulate the patient’s glucose (blood sugar) levels.
Uncontrolled blood sugar affects the patient’s circulatory system, damaging the circulatory system, including the heart.
Diabetics are more than one-third more likely to have coronary artery disease and suffer a heart attack than people who are not diabetic.
Doctors recommend everyone to maintain a lifestyle that has adequate amounts of exercise and a healthy diet to keep the body in good working order. For diabetics, these two lifestyle components are essential to controlling blood sugar levels in combination with your medication.
One cause recently attributed to the increase of diabetes, particularly among young adults, is a lack of exercise and a poor diet, resulting in obesity or becoming overweight. The less healthy your body is, the more stress you put on it to maintain itself.
Ask any type 1 diabetic and they will unfaltering tell you that they would prefer a exercise and diet regimen to having to take 3 or more shots of insulin each day, at regular intervals.
Type 1 diabetes is often called juvenile diabetes, and it is the most sever type of the disease as the body has completely stopped producing insulin. That is why injections of what amounts to artificial human insulin are required to manage the diabetic’s condition.
The other type of diabetic, type 2, is diagnosed when the patient’s blood sugar levels are out of control but the body is still producing some insulin.
The medical treatment for these patients is to attempt to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise, but most often doctors will prescribe an oral medication that works to stimulate the production of insulin in the person’s body.
If the patient does not modify their lifestyle according to the doctor’s recommendations, there is a greater likelihood that the patient will worsen their condition to the point where the body produces no insulin at all, at which time insulin injections will be prescribed.
Though diabetes is a serious health issue, most diabetics today can have a normal lifestyle. Though there always is the possibility of a reaction, an event when the patient’s blood sugar levels drop too low and requires the person to eat or drink foods high in sugar to raise their blood sugar level back to normal, this is a relatively rare event.
Most often it is caused by the diabetic not eating enough food with their regular meals, or when they exercise too much and use too much glucose stored in the body.
Because diabetics can live a fairly normal life, they have the same health issues as everyone else.
This means that as regarding them taking care of their bodies they can benefit from most of the knowledge of nutrition and natural food benefits as everyone else.
For the diabetic, any boost to the immune system works to their advantage, as diabetes reduces the circulation to the outer extremities, such as the hands and the feet.
This where infections can set in and lead to amputation of a limb, as the slow circulation results in the diabetic taking longer to heal.
This is also true about simple viruses such as the flu or common bacterial infections.
Though there have been pancreas transplants and attempts to use stem cell research to completely cure diabetes, there is no scientific or medical evidence that supports the idea a solution is on the horizon.
Because the cause of diabetes varies from person to person, what works successfully in one person fails in another. For the near future, any advancements will likely have to come from technology.
Currently there are insulin pumps available, which are devices that the patient wears underneath their clothing. The device still uses insulin, but instead of daily shots, the insulin is injected into the device and provides insulin to the body as needed, much like a non-diabetic.
The insulin pump monitors the blood sugar level constantly, and some patients consider it to be an artificial pancreas worn outside of the body.
Most of the medical advances in diabetes from a pharmaceutical viewpoint have mainly benefited type 2 diabetics. The reason for this is simple. More than 80 percent of diabetics are type 2, so any medical breakthrough will positively impact a greater number of people.
That said, type 1 diabetics can look forward to less invasive ways to inject insulin and monitor their daily blood sugar levels. Insulin pumps are one way to reduce the number of daily injections, and there is research being performed that will allow a patch, similar to what people who try to stop smoking use, to absorb new types of insulin into the body.
All diabetics can live with the hope that medical research is continuing to help manage their illness better.