A Leading Cause of Death  & Disability


Without insulin, the body's cells can't use glucose, because insulin acts as a bridge into your cells from your blood system. Glucose can't enter your cells without the bridge of insulin. This leads to too much glucose in your blood and not enough glucose getting into your body's cells. The lack of glucose leads to your body feeling tired and weak.  In many cases you will lose weight even though you aren't even trying to.

Diabetes Can Lead To Serious Health Complications:

  1.   Blindness

  2.   Kidney damage

  3.   Cardiovascular disease

  4.   Lower-limb amputations, and

  5.   Premature death

Still, there are many precautionary steps people with diabetes can take to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.

Type 1 Diabetes                                                                         

Also known as Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes,Type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, the only cells in the body that make the hormone insulin that regulates blood glucose. This means that the body's defense system system attacks some of the body's own cells. In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, and therefore they are no longer capable of making insulin.

Physicians don't know exactly why this happens, but they do know that some people are born with a tendency to develop diabetes. Then something "triggers" the onset of the disease. It may be a virus that triggers the onset, or it may be something in the environment. There is nothing a parent can do to prevent this from happening.

To survive, people with Type 1 diabetes must have insulin delivered into their system by injection or a pump.


Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes may be autoimmune, genetic, or environmental. 

No known way to prevent type 1 diabetes currently exists.


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes.

In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes usually begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in which the cells do not use insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce it.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with

  1.    Older age

  2.     Obesity

  3.     Family history of diabetes

  4.     History of gestational diabetes

  5.     Impaired glucose metabolism

  6.     Physical inactivity, and

  7.     Race or ethnicity

Some Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are also at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes and its complications.

And Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently among American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders.

Adults at particularly high risk for Type 2 diabetes include:

  1.     African Americans

  2.     Hispanic/Latino Americans

  3.     American Indians

Type 1 diabetes usually strikes children and young adults, although disease onset can occur at any age. 

In adults, Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes

Although the exact causes of diabetes are still unknown, medical science does know that certain factors contribute to its development.  There are certain factors that lead to diabetes, called “at risk” factors.

The 2 major “At Risk Factors” include

1. Heredity:  If diabetes is known to run in the family for many years, then heredity plays a major role in development of diabetes. 

2. Diet:  Diet is also a major factor in the development of diabetes.

When not properly controlled or left untreated entirely, Diabetes could lead to gangrene, damage to retina, kidneys and more.

The Center for Disease Control expects a continued increase in the number of Americans who have and/or develop diabetes in the coming years. (chart right)

Diabetes Is An Autoimmune Disease. Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose (also called blood sugar), resulting from defects in the body’s insulin production, insulin action, or both.

  1.   Family history of diabetes milletus is present in 5.5% to 11.5% of patients suffering from diabetes.

  1. Eating an unhealthy, unbalanced diet and too many carbohydrates, proteins and fats are harmful to the proper functioning of the pancreas, which produces insulin for the body.

  1. People eat too many processed foods overloaded with refined carbohydrates, like breads, pastries, candy, chocolate, cookies, chips and other snacks, -as well as junk ‘treats’ and fast food meals.

People who have a family history of diabetes are 25% more likely to develop the disease themselves.

If you have questions or concerns about symptoms you may be experiencing, don’t hesitate. It is always a good idea to contact your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Ignoring the symptoms of Diabetes won’t make it go away.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially in people who are overweight.  National studies done in 2007 indicate a range in the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in various populations ages 20 years or older:

•Age 20 years or older: 23.5 million, or 10.7 percent, of all people in this age group have diabetes.

•Age 60 years or older: 12.2 million, or 23.1 percent, of all people in this age group have diabetes.

•Men: 12.0 million, or 11.2 percent, of all men ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

•Women: 11.5 million, or 10.2 percent, of all women ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

•Non-Hispanic whites: 14.9 million, or 9.8 percent, of all non-Hispanic whites ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

•Non-Hispanic blacks: 3.7 million, or 14.7 percent, of all non-Hispanic blacks ages 20 years or older have diabetes.

Diabetes Is On The Rise

Diabetes prevalence in the United States is likely to increase for several reasons.

First, a large segment of the population is aging.

Also, Hispanics/Latinos and other minority groups at increased risk make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

Finally, Americans are increasingly overweight and sedentary.

According to recent estimates from the CDC, diabetes will affect one in three people born in 2000 in the United States. The CDC also projects that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States will increase 165% by 2050.

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