Diabetes is a serious and potentially deadly disease that has affected millions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes has been the seventh leading cause of death since 2010.
This disease, which causes the pancreas to either produce too much or not enough insulin, has no cure but can be managed and maintained. Through proper nutrition, exercise and medication, diabetics can live out their lives in otherwise everyday fashion. Like cancer, diabetes does not care what age, race, body type or even species you are, as animals can also contract this epidemic.
“Patients who do not take this serious, will regret it," said Daryl Wein, a physician's assistant for the past 17 years.
Wein, who is also diabetic, recently wrote "Type 2 Diabetes: The Owner’s Manual." In the159-page book, Wein covers the disease from top to bottom, including a breakdown of the best foods for diabetics and those to avoid and the proper measurements for moderation.
Wein graduated from U.C. Davis School of Medicine in 1999 and sees patients in Modesto, Oakdale, Escalon and other surrounding areas. When he is not in the office, Wein is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor.
“When I was diagnosed, I had noticed my vision began to blur. My vision prescription had not changed in years, so it was alarming to say the least. Later I was eating Chinese food, and became very thirsty. No matter how much water I drank, no amount of water would quench my thirst. I got tested and I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes."
Wein also pointed out that diabetes is hereditary, and those who have family members with a history with diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, should be tested regularly.
“It is important to get tested, but it’s imperative for those with family history of diabetes to get tested.”
Unchecked, diabetes can lead to loss of vision, loss of limbs including toes, feet or even leg amputation within time. It also affects the body's immune system, which can shut down, the physician assistant said.
There are different types of diabetes. The main types are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Their names are similar but the two are completely different.
Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus appears primarily in childhood or adolescence with excessive thirst and urination, loss of weight and extremely high glucose levels. Other than the recent weight loss, a relatively normal weight is typical when Type 1 diabetes starts. Type 1 occurs in 7 to 22 percent of all people who have diabetes. Treatment for this type revolves around replacing the missing insulin delivery with an insulin pump or injections to match diet and exercise.
In contrast to Type 1 where the immune system destroys beta cells, Type 2 diabetes develops from a gradual decline in the beta cells’ ability to over-produce insulin. Type 2 is a progressive disease in which insulin production has been increased for several years as the body attempts to keep up with the insulin resistance associated with abdominal obesity or an apple shape. Insulin production gradually degrades as the beta cells become exhausted.
Type 2 is often part of a metabolic syndrome that includes various signs of insulin resistance: high blood pressure, high total cholesterol (over 200), high triglycerides (also over 200), low levels of HDL or protective cholesterol (under 40 mg/dl), gout and abdominal obesity.
Treatment for Type 2 diabetes revolves around varied combinations of diet, exercise, medications, and/or insulin injections.
At least 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2 and 30 to 40 percent of them currently use insulin. About 30 percent of Americans have insulin resistance and about 30 percent of these will eventually develop Type 2 diabetes at some time in their lives.
To learn more about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website atdiabetes.org
Wein's book, "Type 2 Diabetes: The Owner's Manual," can be purchased atamazon.com