Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes excessive thirst and excessive production of large volume of urine. It is a condition in which body is unable to regulate itself, either by becoming resistant to insulin or producing insufficient insulin. There are a number of horrible side effects that are associated with this disease. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, so this disease affects all categories of people. Millions of people in the world are affected by this disease and it is emerging as a global epidemic that is directly concerned with obesity, rapid increase in weight and physical inactivity. Prevention, care and proper health management with medications play an important role in prolonging life and saving individuals from its adverse effect. Here is the list of 10 Strange Facts You Must Know About Diabetes .
10. Diabetes in Animals
A strange fact about diabetes is that this disease is not only confined to humans but the female dogs and male cats are also vulnerable to this disease. The causes of disease in animals are same as that in humans like genetics, lack of exercise and diet. These animals also need medications in the form of insulin to maintain their health.
9. History of Diabetes
Human beings are suffering from this disease from thousands of years. This disease was rare in the past but now a day its incidence is very high. It was the disease that was first described as too great emptying of urine and it is believed that the first described cases were of type 1 diabetes. At the same time this disease was identified by Indian physicians and they classified it as honey urine. This disease was seen to be very rare in Roman empire, possibly due to the ancient life style and diet of the people, or may be due to clinical manifestations of the disease that were observed.
Before the discovery of insulin, the death rate because of diabetes was extremely high and suffering from Type 1 diabetes was in fact a death sentence. Leonard Thompson; a 14 year old boy was the first one to receive insulin in 1922. Unluckily, the insulin he received was impure and then after 12 days an improved batch was introduced in his body that improved his health immediately. Then this medicine was given to a number of dying individuals and its miraculous effects were seen as it proved itself a life saving drug.
7. Types of Diabetes
There are main three types of diabetes, and possibly various others that are not yet classified. Type I diabetes is an auto immune disease in which the immune system of the body affects the insulin producing cells and the individuals suffering from it are unable to produce insulin and depend on insulin injections for survival. Type II diabetes is linked with hereditary factors and lifestyle including insufficient physical activity, obesity and poor diet. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, however once the baby is born the condition is usually disappeared.
6. Diabetic Nephropathy
Diabetic nephropathy is the progressive damage that is caused to the kidney and seen in individuals suffering from long standing diabetes.It can lead to mark changes in the tissues of kidney, loss of small or larger amounts of protein in the urine and ultimately chronic kidney disease that require dialysis. The intense damage to kidney leads to increased blood pressure and also raises the triglycerides and cholesterol level in the body.
5. Diabetic Retinopathy
An awful complication of Diabetes is Diabetic retinopathy, which can ultimately lead to blindness as it causes damage to the blood vessels and capillaries of the eyes. The patients of Diabetes can suffer from altered vision such as blurred vision or blindness and the conditions like glaucoma and cataract also get worse in this disease. Up to eighty percent of patients who have or had suffered from diabetes for ten years or more are affected by this ocular manifestation of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common issue of diabetes that is exacerbated with the progression as it causes swelling and blockage of blood vessels supplying the retina.
Another strange fact about diabetes is the role of diet in it. The relation between sugar intake and diabetes is fairly well established, studies have shown that sugar affects the pancreas and liver in a different way and eventually make the body resistant to insulin. The beverages we consume including cold drinks, fruit juice etc contain massive amounts of sugar. There is 39 grams more sugar present in one 12 ounce can of coca cola as compared to snickers bars. People daily consume these beverage in frequent amounts and do not even realize that they play a leading role in development of diabetes. Nitrates present in various food items also cause many diseases including diabetes.
3. Diabetic Heart Disease
One of the long term complications of diabetes is that it causes damage to blood vessels and therefore it doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic heart disease can be heart failure, coronary heart disease and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Hypertension is also common in diabetic patients and can increase the risk of eye problems, kidney disease, stroke and heart attack. The life expectancy of a diabetic patient is five to ten years shorter as compared to other individuals and approximately 75% of deaths in diabetic patients are due to coronary artery disease. Diabetic patients may develop heart disease at younger age and the severity of heart disease is more as compared to other individuals.
2. Diabetic Coma
Individuals suffering from diabetes are highly advised to regularly check their blood sugar levels as their blood sugar level can rise too high or fall too low making them suffer from hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and then there is a risk of falling into a serious condition known as diabetic coma. Fortunately, the other symptoms like fever, headache and increased thirst that become visible first make the individual to seek help before going into unconscious state. Diabetic coma was very frequent condition before the invention of blood glucose meters. It is extremely dangerous in individuals living alone and if untreated then it can cause serious and permanent damage to brain and eventually death.
The most serious and merciless complication of diabetes is amputation. Diabetic neuropathy is a worst condition in which the blood vessels supplying the nerves are damaged and manifest itself as a painful, numb and tingling sensation especially in the feet. Diabetic patients may also suffer from peripheral arterial diseases in which the blood flow towards the feet is restricted. The coexistence of these two conditions make the situation pathetic as they make the skin sensitive and dry and make it more vulnerable to develop ulcers.
The decreased blood supply makes the infection worse and makes even medication useless to fight off the infection, and the only option left is amputation. Furthermore, the proximal neuropathy causes painful muscle weakness and wasting, therefore it is a very serious complication of diabetes.