DIABTES, A GROWING HEALTH THREAT IN THE US.
Diabetes Mellitus as medically known is a growing Health threat for people all over the world, especially as the incidence of type 2 diabetes increases due to aging populations and changing life styles. It is a chronic disease, which affects approximately 371 Million people worldwide. 1
It is now ranked among one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the world. It falls as the 4th leading cause of death in most developed countries and there are facts and figures that it is epidemic in many developing and new industrialized countries. 2
In the US, the number has increased so much within the last five years and US being the third country among the top ten countries mostly affected with diabetes. It is reported that 25.8 million Americans, 8.3% of the population have diabetes. 25.6 Million Americans aged 20 years or older are newly diagnosed with diabetes every year, 11.3% of all people in this age group and 10.9 million or 26.9 million of people within the age group of 65 or older have diabetes.
This number is of great concern to US government and entire medical scientists.
This public health problem has reached pandemonic proportions; A prevalence of 439 million people with diabetes in the year 2030 has been predicted.3
Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, which is characterized by a deficiency of and/ or resistance to the hormone insulin. Insulin is produced in the cells of pancreas and it is an important regulator of the glucose metabolism. Insulin is responsible for the uptake and storage of glucose from the blood and thereby reduces blood glucose levels. If the glucose metabolism is disturbed, hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) or hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) might occur.
In addition, insulin plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism.
There are several types of diabetes viz type 1 or insulin diabetes which is common in children and young adults, type 2 which is common in adults and seniors, though there are several cases of it being seen in young adults too and the last one is gestational diabetes which is seen among the pregnant women.
Good health managements and medications can be of great help to diabetic patients. A serious concern has been shown because of the recent increase of people living with diabetes, especially among youth under thirty years old.
The purpose of this write up is to provide meaningful information on diabetes in general.
SHORT HISTORY OF DIABETES
Diabetes mellitus has a long history during which it was considered to be a disease of the kidney well into the middle of the 19th century. Recognized in antiquity from its excessive urine output and describes as a disease of the urinary tract. Its clinical features and fatal outcome were quite accurately recorded by the first century ad. Galen (129-200) described it as a disease specific to the kidney because of the weakness in their retentive faculties.
The sweet taste of diabetic urine, which is described in ancient Indian text and noted by Avicenna (980-1037) and Morgani (1635- 1683) was attributed to the passage of absorbed water and nutrients unchanged into the urine. In 1674, Thomas Wills (1621-1675) first differentiated diabetes from other causes of polyuria by the sweet taste of diabetic urine and suggested that the sweetness first appear in the blood. A century later, Matthew Dobson (1732-1784) showed that the urine sweetness was because of sugar and was preceded and accompanied by sugar in the blood.
Although diabetes then came to be ascribed to increase sugar in the blood, the presence of sugar in the urine continued to be attributed to the decreases retentive properties of the kidneys. The experimental production of diabetes in pancreatectomized dogs that could be reversed by subcutaneous pancreatic transplantation in 1889, and the ultimate isolation of insulin in 1992 clearly established diabetes as an endocrine