Saturday, March 14, 2009

Major Types of Diabetes Disease

Diabetes is diagnosed by means of a blood test measuring blood sugar and is administered by a physician or health care provider.The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. There are 8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes.Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.While an estimated 6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease. Blood glucose levels vary with food intake, so the timing of this test in relation to meals is important.

To help ensure that blood glucose readings are as accurate as possible, the test is classified in the following manner:
  • a casual plasma glucose means the measurement is taken without regard to the time of the last meal;
  • a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) means the blood sugar measurement is taken when the person has not eaten for at least eight hours;
  • the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) means that the person fasts for at least eight hours, is then given a 75 g glucose load, and the blood sugars are measured at one- and/or two-hour intervals after the load.
Major Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases in the United States each year.
Pre-diabetes Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 54 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 20.8 million with diabetes.

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