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Diabetes is the most common disorder of the endocrine system. This disease affects between 10 million and 20 million people in the United States alone. The disease is caused by disorders in blood levels of insulin, a pancreatic hormone that helps your system convert blood glucose or blood sugar into enegry. Type 1 diabetes is controlled by many things, and working closely with your doctor will give you far more independance in the long run. Learning how to deal with the symptoms and controlling them will make a huge difference in avoiding it's potentially serious side effects!

One of the most important things a juvenile-onset diabetic must do it watch their blood sugar levels everyday. This will give an accurate reading about what time of day the sugars get high or low. This will also prevent an attack of hypoglycemia. That would mean the available levels of blood sugar are too low to fulfill your body's energy needs. Hypoglycemia can be easily treated though, once the symptoms are noticable to the diabetic. A lack of insulin can bring on a serious condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs when the blood becomes increasingly acidic from the accumualtion of toxic by-products called ketones. Ketones are produced through the break down of fat for enegry use in the body. Another way that ketoacidosis could occur is if a diabetic's glucose and insulin levels are not properly balanced, or if the body comes under sudden physical stress, caused from an accident or an illness.

There are just a few short term complications with diabetes as I have explained above, but the longer term effects are worse. Some of those complications would be damage of the eyes. Complications from diabetes are the primary case of adult blindness in the United States. Within 10 years after being diagonosed with diabetes, about 50% of type 1, juvenile-onset diabetes develop an eye disorder called diabetic retinopathy, which can weaken the capillaries that supply blood to the retina and will then eventaully affect vision. Other long term effects of diabetes are effects to the nervous system, kidneys, and cariovascular/circulatory systems. Along with that it also hinders the body's resistance to illnesses and infections. Cuts and sores always heal more slowly and patients are more prone to gum problems, yeast infections, urinary tract infections and mouth infections.

More of the longer term effects, mostly uncommon, are heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Poor circulation increases the risk of ulcers, cramps, and gangrene. Damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys could lead to kidney failure.

Some of the symptoms you need to look out for and notice if you suspect you are becoming diabetic are excessive thrist and appetite, increased urination (sometimes as often as every hour), weight loss, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, frequent vaginal infections in women, impotence in men and increased yeast infections in both men and women. If noticing these symptoms, usually two or more, contact your doctor. The doctor will then check your blood sugar levels over a period of time called a Hemoglobin A1C. That will give an accuarte reading of the past 90 days of what your blood sugars have ran. After being diagnosed, it's only a matter of time in learning how to control the disease.

This disease may sound like a horrible one to live with, as are all diseases. With any proper medical attension, weight control, exercise, and good mental health will go a long way. Prevention for the side effects of this disease are as simple as following those steps above. Diet and exercise play a big role in it all.