Diabetes is an increasing common disease affecting the endocrine system. It has far reaching and systemic effects and if not properly managed could lead to serious a reduction in quality of life and even death.
Diabetes occurs as either a reduction of the body’s ability to produce the hormone insulin, or as a result of a reduction in the body’s sensitivity to the hormone.
There are two broad types of diabetes, categorized based on the etiology.
Type I Diabetes Mellitus, also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, more commonly occurs in younger people and it usually results from an autoimmune disorder which leads to the body attacking its own cells.
The cells attacked in this case are the beta islet cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. This leads to a drastically reduced amount of insulin produced by the body, and as a result, a persistent increase in the amount of glucose in the body’s circulation as insulin is responsible for the transformation of glucose into glycogen, a material that is stored in the body for future use by the muscles and cells.
Type II Diabetes varies from Type I in the sense that initially the body has a good enough supply of glucose, but as it ages, the receptor cells responsible for binding insulin in order for it to bring about is effect, slowly lose their sensitivity.
This leads to pretty much the same problems as in Type I Diabetes.
People with high blood sugar usually complain of inability to focus, tiredness, anxiety and may collapse and faint. This is known as a diabetic coma and if not promptly treated, could lead to death.
Complications that could result from poorly treated diabetes includes, kidney failure, loss of sensations in the body, and blindness.
Treatment for diabetes includes the use of oral glucose reducing agents as well as the administration of insulin.
Hypertension is a chronic medical illness that has seen a stunning rise in incidence during the last decade.
Hypertension is defined as a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg taken over 2 readings no less than 8 hours apart.
This shows that the person’s blood pressure is constantly high, which could lead to a number of serious complications both acute and chronic.
There are two types of hypertension, classified based on etiology or the things that cause it.
Essential hypertension is the most popular cause of hypertension said to be responsible for up to 90 percent of all cases of hypertension worldwide.
Essential hypertension is idiopathic, which means that there are no real known causative factors.
This makes it different from the second type of hypertension which has an identifiable cause which could either be a kidney problem, or as a result of some other endocrine disorder.
The symptoms that people who are suffering from persistently raised high blood pressure could present with include; the feeling of being able to hear your heart beating, which is known as palpitations, headaches, dizziness, and episodes of fainting.
Risk factors than predispose to hypertension include; a genetic predisposition, diet with a large amount of salt, obesity, smoking and alcohol intake.
Hypertension could lead to a wide range of very serious complications chief among which include blindness, kidney failure, heart failure, leg swelling, and stroke.
The key to preventing these complications include early identification of people at risk of hypertension and diagnosis, placing them on treatment early in order to forestall the development of these complications, and strict compliance to these medications, some of which would have to be taken for the rest of the patients lives.
As a result of this, hypertension is a disease that needs to be managed not just in an individual basis but on a familial basis with counseling and support playing a very critical role in compliance and the ultimate efficacy of treatment of the disease.
Also known as a cerebrovascular accident, a stroke is a common medical condition that occurs as a result of a reduction in blood flow to the brain, which consequently leads to ischemia and cell death.
Strokes could be classified as either hemorrhagic or ischemic, depending on the causes and each type has different clinical presentations which could give a hint as to the causative factor.
Both types of stroke usually present with weakness of one side of the body, known as hemiparesis, weakness of the facial muscles which presents as facial deviation, and slurring of speech.
Hemorrhagic strokes usually present with a history of vomiting and headaches, while ischemic strokes do not usually have the above presentation.
The following factors usually increase the risk of any individual having a stroke and they include, high blood pressure, obesity, tobacco smoking, diets high in cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus.
A stroke is usually clinically diagnosed, as a result of the symptoms that a patient presents with as well as the history, but for certainty sake and to know the proper modality of management, patients are often required to carry out a cranial CT scan in order to find out the exact type of stroke.
Hemorrhagic strokes show a different picture in the cranial CT scan than ischaemic strokes and both are managed differently.
The key to avoiding strokes is prevention. Strokes can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure, reducing weight and intake of fatty foods, exercise, and controlling Diabetes Mellitus.
Strokes could also be prevented by the use of medications such as statins to reduce the bad fat in the body, as well as the use of low dose aspirin to reduce the possibility of the formation of blood clots in the arteries which could cause blockage of the blood vessels supplying the brain.