High Blood Sugars
August 24th 2012 · 0 Comments
Diabetes can also be referred to as a form of “hyperglycemia” – where the body’s production of insulin is either insufficient or dysfunctional in regulating the blood sugar. This results in excessive blood glucose levels which can interfere with many different processes in the body and can result in extreme dehydration leading to death. When people refer to needing to cut down on their sugar intake because of the risk for Diabetes, they typically are referring to Type II Diabetes (T2D), also referred to as adult-onset. This condition can be largely controlled by diet, nutrition and exercise.
Type I Diabetes (or T1D), however, is the childhood-onset diabetes, which is also called “Insulin-Dependent Diabetes.” This results in the total or near-total cessation of pancreatic production of insulin in the body. T1D can afflict a person at any age, but it is referred to as “Childhood-Onset” diabetes due to the predominance of younger patients with the condition.
While the emergence of T1D is a patient is still mysterious, it does appear that familial history factors only partially into its development. Other factors such as a severe illness which affects pancreas function critically seem to be more of a concern. (According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, family history of diabetes-related illnesses shows up in only 10% of T1D cases, and only 1 in 20 is at-risk for the disease as determined by heredity.)
The patient who must inject insulin on a daily basis is presenting T1D. T2D, by contrast, arises when the pancreas produces high levels of insulin in response to high sugar intake but the system has become accustomed to the insulin in the blood due to its almost constant presence in the bloodstream. The person who ingests a continual excess of carbohydrates and sugars stimulates the pancreas to produce more and more insulin, until the body’s ability to respond appropriately decreases to the point where the hormone no longer has an effect. The body is no longer able to transport the sugar glucose, from blood into muscles and other tissues. The sugar remains in the bloodstream as the body becomes insulin resistant.
T2D is usually seen in patients over 40, but it has been appearing lately in much younger individuals who stay within the Standard American Diet (or SAD) or Black American Diet (or BAD) and overeat sugars and carbohydrates.
It should be also noted, that T2D has been appearing more frequently in youth of non-white extraction, and epidemiologists estimate that the condition is most likely being under-diagnosed in the population at large.
Two other types of diabetes can affect individuals. Gestational Diabetes afflicts pregnant mothers whose blood sugar increases temporarily during pregnancy. Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults or LADA (also referred to as type 1.5 Diabetes), but these affect much smaller pools of the population.
Symptoms of T1D may occur suddenly. As listed by the JDRF, they include:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Drowsiness, lethargy
- Sugar in urine
- Sudden vision changes
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor, unconsciousness
Regardless of what type of Diabetes might afflict a person, diet, nutrition and exercise are an important aspect of the treatment of the disease. A further article will explore the intricacies of the glycemic index for different foods.