|4/22/2014 2:22:00 PM|
Diabetes a growing concern in U.S.
By Dr. Eden MillerAlmost everyone who reads this article knows someone with diabetes. It is a sad reality that in this decade one in three children born in the U.S. will develop diabetes as an adult. The reasons behind this troubling statistic are multifactorial: Nurture, nature and behavior; as human beings we do not fuel our body like we should, we don't move it around enough, and we probably carry a few extra pounds for the journey.
We also inherit genetic tendencies for diabetes passed down from generation to generation. You can see there are many contributing factors to developing this disease, but there are also many avenues for success in preventing and treating diabetes.
First, we need to understand the basics of the disease. Diabetes is the impairment of the body's ability to effectively metabolize and distribute food, specifically glucose, which is the carbohydrate in our diet. I am often asked, "What is a carbohydrate?" Scientifically speaking it is anything we ingest that can be classified as a sugar, starch, cellulose or gum. I like to tell patients it is anything we eat that doesn't swim, run, or fly.
As we take in carbohydrate, which is the major source of fuel for our body, we need insulin to help transport that fuel into all our cells. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, an organ near the left upper portion of the abdomen. Diabetes results in the build-up of sugar in the blood instead of it being used in the cells, either because the insulin is not working well or is absent. There are also specific types of diabetes, or impairment of the insulin function in patients.
Type 2 Diabetes results from progressive decline of insulin production coupled with insulin resistance. When the body fails to be sensitive or receptive to the insulin hormone at the cell level this is termed insulin resistance. This resistant state is caused by inactivity, excess weight, and hereditary factors.
The following parameters are generally accepted criteria for the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes:
Fasting plasma glucose: ≥126 mg/dL
Peak/2-hour post-meal glucose: ≥200 mg/dL;
A blood test called a Hemoglobin A1C: ≥6.5%
Patients who develop Type 2 Diabetes are generally adults. However it is currently the leading pediatric disease in the United States.
Patients with this type of diabetes, if caught early enough, can work on diet, exercise and body weight to control their disease.
In addition, early-on Type 2 Diabetic individuals still make insulin, and can often control the sugars with diet and exercise. As the disease progresses, they become resistant to the insulin they make. Oral and injectable medications are very effective in assisting the body with sugar control.
As the disease progresses, the pancreas continues to work hard against the resistance of the body, and eventually stops making the necessary insulin for survival. As a result, many Type 2 diabetics will require insulin to control their disease at some point in their life.
Type 1 Diabetes is a disease that can happen at any time but usually develops in the early teen and young adult years. It is caused from an autoimmune or body attack on the pancreas, which results in the loss of insulin production by the body. As a result the person doesn't make insulin and needs to take insulin daily to survive.
Dr. Kevin Miller and Dr. Eden Miller invite the Sisters community to attend two nights focused on health and disease prevention to be held at Sisters High School from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 1 and 2.
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