THE SWEET SILENT KILLER
The sweet enemy could become the sweet killer. The body is a delicate balance of different substances, each of which must be kept within certain levels regarded as normal; above or below those levels, it may become dangerous for the body and life.
The Level Of Glucose
The level of sugar or glucose in the blood is a very good example. The generally accepted range of pre-breakfast normal level (technically termed “fasting blood sugar” ) is between 70 to 110 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, and when one’s test result is far above this one is diagnosed as having diabetes mellitus.
How Does One Blood Glucose Come To Be High?
Glucose is the final breakdown of digestion of carbohydrates (starchy foods like bread, rice, yam, and cassava products) and, therefore, there’s bound to be a lot of it in the body at any given time, where it is used as a source of energy. Its first stop after absorption from the intestine is the liver, where some of it is stored as glycogen as a reserve for future use, while the rest is passed on to the blood circulation. And this is the place where the level must be kept down if the person is not to become diabetic.
Insulin is produced by an organ, the pancreas. It ensures that any excess glucose is passed from the blood into the body cells, where some of it is again stored as glycogen and fat, but the greatest percentage is broken down to produce energy for the body. But this does not happen when, for some reason, a person is lacking insulin. What usually causes a person’s body to start lacking insulin? Insulin is a protein; and as the person’s body grows older, a general degenerative process usually sets in. And with this insulin insufficiency, will come diabetes mellitus. Obesity and lack of exercise are also thought to be factors, because then, the body may not get a chance to utilize most of the incoming glucose as energy.
All the above considered, it is no surprise, therefore, that diabetes is more commonly found in the elderly and obese. But that is not to say that young people do not suffer from the disease; only that their type is less common, and has different causative factors. Rather than their pancreas being unable to produce an adequate amount of insulin anymore due to geriatric degeneration, it is now believed that with them, the cell in question inherently lacked the capacity for adequate production in the first place, probably due to some inherited genetic factor.
How do The Young And The Old Find Out About The Disease?
The way young people find out they have the disease is usually different from that of their elderly or obese counterparts. Whereas the illness may be diagnosed by chance among the elderly while they are being treated for complications of the disease such as blurring of vision, cataracts, tingling sensation in the limbs, or recurrent boils, the young sufferer is more likely to go down suddenly with the disease classic symptoms: severe and unquenchable thirst, very frequent urinating, and rapid loss of weight. Some may even have severe abnormal pain with vomiting, fooling (feeling of irresponsibility) even some doctors into thinking of something like appendicitis initially.
The treatment for each type is also rather different. While in the elderly type, the patient usually responds well to just a low carbohydrates diet, and a weight-trimming program in the case of obesity, with some tablets which tend to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin, the younger type of patient rarely responds to these tablets, and usually needs regular insulin injections, along with a low carbohydrates diet.
In summary, however, it is pertinent for the patient to monitor his urine regularly to know how well he is responding to the treatment, and how much medicine he needs subsequently. This is possible because whenever somebody’s blood glucose goes above the diabetes line, the sugar level is reflected in the urine whereas a non-diabetic’s urine is usually sugar-free.
Ojang Clement is a freelance writer specializing in short stories, poems, and articles in Events, Art and Entertainment, Health, Education, Interviews, Nightlife, Real Estate, Sport and Recreation, Technology, and Tourism.