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DIABETES - A CHRONIC DISEASE II

Diabetes – A Chronic Disease II

Gestational diabetes:

This is an uncommon form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. During the course of pregnancy approximately 2 – 4% of women will develop gestational diabetes, however the condition usually disappears after the pregnancy. It can manifest as either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is thought to occur as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy in women who are genetically predisposed to develop diabetes.

Other causes:

Diabetes can also occur as the result of:

Medications – eg: prednisone (a steroid medication) and some diuretics (water tablets), which can increase the chances of developing diabetes by increasing insulin resistance.

Certain medical conditions – eg: diseases of the pancreas (eg: chronic pancreatitis) and some disorders of the hormone-producing endocrine glands (eg: Cushings’ syndrome).

Trauma or surgery – eg: injury to the pancreas or surgical removal of the pancreas.

Some genetic disorders eg: Down’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome and some muscular dystrophies.

Signs and symptoms

The onset of symptoms in Type 1 diabetes is typically quite sudden and symptoms can be severe. However the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to manifest gradually, so much so that they may go unnoticed.

When hyperglycaemia occurs, the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose by excreting it in the urine. This increases urine output and can lead to dehydration. At the same time the body’s cells are starved of the glucose energy they need. The combination of these factors produces the common symptoms of diabetes. These may include:

Weight loss

Excessive thirst

Excessive urination

Fatigue

Nausea

Irritability

Yeast infections

Blurry vision

Skin wounds or infections that are slow to heal

Numbness and tingling in the feet.

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