Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health


What is diabetes?

Type I diabetes

Type II diabetes

Gestational diabetes

Long-term complications from diabetes

Prevention / remedies / treatment for diabetes


What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition in which a person has a high blood sugar (glucose) level. It occurs when either the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or because body cells don't properly respond to the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which tells cells to absorb glucose and store energy. If glucose is not stored it remains in the blood (hyperglycemia) and gradually causes complications.

The optimal blood glucose range is 85-105 mg/dl, rising to the 120-140 after eating a meal and back into the optimal range within a couple of hours. Doctors regard the normal fasting blood sugar level as 80-120 mg/dL. A typical diabetic's level is 160 mg/dL two hours after a meal containing carbohydrates.

Over 6% of the world's population has diabetes, and it is "one of the biggest health catastrophes the world has ever witnessed". (5) It is not only a rich country disease, and is rapidly increasing in developing countries. in 2000 the five countries with the greatest number of people with diabetes were India (31.7 million), China (20.8 million), USA (17.7 million), Indonesia (8.4 million), and Japan (6.8 million). (6)

It is recognized as a global epidemic by the World Health Organization. (7) It causes massive human suffering, disability and socioeconomic cost.

Diabetes is a preventable disease caused by eating too much sugar, refined carbohydrates (things made with flour), sweet and dried fruits, and other sweet things.

Type one diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes): the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin. This causes an increased level of glucose in the blood and urine.

This condition is eventually fatal unless treated with insulin. Usually the person injects insulin for the rest of their life. When managed correctly, the person can remain healthy. However, with imperfect management similar symptoms to type 2 diabetes can occur. In addition, the sufferer has an increased risk of vehicle and other accidents.

Incidence of type 1 diabetes

The incidence ranges from 0.8-1.7% in the USA and northern Europe to 3.5% in Scandinavia to a low of 0.1% in Japan and China. (1) Less than 10% of all cases of diabetes are type I.

Causes of type 1 diabetes

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

The hallmark symptoms of type 1 diabetes are listed below. See also symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Type two diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (noninsulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by eating too much sugar, refined carbohydrates (things made with flour), sweet and dried fruits, and other sweet things. It occurs when the cells in the body fail to properly respond to insulin (insulin resistance).

Incidence of type 2 diabetes

Approximately 90-95% of all cases of diabetes are Type 2. It is increasing at an alarming rate. In the USA, 11% of people over the age of 20 have Type 2 diabetes, and 24% of those over the age of 60 (Source: CDC). It is estimated that 28% of people with diabetes in the USA do not realise that they have the disease, leading to terrible consequences five years later - loss of limbs, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, strokes and nerve damage. Diabetes used to be an adult disease, but now it is also common in children.

Two thirds of the population suffers from metabolic syndrome, sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes, with symptoms of aches, pains, tiredness, a tendency to overweight and a general feeling of malaise. Diabetes has increased in line with obesity. It is also increasingly diagnosed in children, again in parallel with obesity.

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

In the first year or two, there may be few symptoms.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which occurs in pregnant women who have not previously been diagnosed with high blood glucose levels. The insulin receptors on cells do not function properly. If affect about 3-10% of pregnancies, and is most common in the third trimester. It usually has few obvious symptoms, and usually resolves after delivery.

However, the infant is at increased risk of problems such as being large for gestational age (which may lead to delivery complications), low blood sugar, jaundice and an increased risk of obesity and diabetes later in life.

GDM can be treated with the same recommendations, including diet and exercise, as type 2 diabetes.

Long-term complications from diabetes

Prevention / remedies / treatment for diabetes


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