There are many aspects of diabetes that scientists and doctors have yet to understand, as well as emerging aspects of the disease that can be difficult to work on with current technology. For instance, there is still no known link between sleep apnea and diabetes, although sleep apnea can put people at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, as can diabetes. Diabetic foot pain is also common, and well documented. Certain correlations have yet to be established, and new complications arise as scientists observe more people suffering from this much dreaded disease.
A well-known symptom is gangrene of the feet, which can often lead to amputations. A new aspect of the disease is its genetic component, and both molecular biologists and diagnosticians are working to understand how people can get diabetes from their parents.
How Do You Get Diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes, but the three major forms come about because of the inability of the body's insulin-producing cells to excrete adequate levels of insulin. Insulin aids in breaking down whole sugars and carbohydrates into forms that the body can use for energy. Without insulin, sugar levels in the blood increase, translating into organ and tissue damage.
Type I diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Type II diabetes and gestational diabetes both involve resistance by the body's tissues to the effects of insulin; gestational, or pregnancy-related diabetes, however, will often subside after the baby is delivered.
Diabetes is not catching, and for people suffering from diabetes continuing education is necessary in order to inform them and their loved ones about treatment regimens, as well as information on what can cause diabetes. For instance, obesity is a large risk factor for Type II diabetes, so people who have a family history of diabetes must take care to eat a balanced diet that is low in sodium and saturated fats.
Understanding the causes of diabetes can help physicians design a treatment regimen that can help patients manage the disease better. Disease management for diabetes can include a strict diet, increased physical activity, and fitness techniques to lead to weight and fat loss. Research shows that abdominal fat is a great risk factor for diabetes, so people with fatty abdomens are often recommended a stricter fitness regimen, as well as regular checkups to see if diabetes type II has already developed.
Genetics, however, also plays a big part in this disease, so the real question in the scientific community now is: how is diabetes inherited? Type I and Type II diabetes can be inherited, and they can also be triggered by various stimuli such as stress, viral infections, or even drugs. Currently, scientists are studying what mutations are required for diabetes to completely set in, how these mutations are brought about, and if they can be passed from parent to child.
What is Diabetic Foot Pain?
Because diabetes can damage the nerves of the feet and impede blood circulation, foot pain can be common in people suffering from diabetes. In fact, there are special shoes for diabetics that are designed to deal with this pain. People who suffer from diabetes have stiff joints, and will often bleed because of the decreased clotting ability of the blood. This means that wounds can heal much slower, and with decreased nerve function in the feet, people with diabetes can often have foot wounds without knowing it.
With more damage to numb feet, a person suffering from diabetes might not be aware that he or she needs to take antibiotics or apply certain ointments in order to deal with diseases of the foot. And because circulation is impeded, wounds in the feet might not heal at all, resulting in foot ulcers or gangrene. At this point, amputation is the only cure.
Diabetic foot pain is only the start of one's worries, so deal with it before it gets out of hand. Always monitor your feet for wounds, and clean your feet every day with soap and warm water. Rinse your feet well and dry it carefully. If you find wounds, apply ointments immediately, or consult with your diabetic doctor about treatment regimens. You might also have to undergo physical therapy in order to keep the muscles of your feet active. Such therapy might be expensive, although some packages of health insurance for diabetics will include it.
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