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What Diabetes Means to You

Millions of peoples have diabetes in this country. But even though it’s one of our most devastating diseases, and many people have heard about it, not many really know what it is. The name diabetes mellitus has an interesting origin. The word “mellitus” is a Greek word that means sweet. “Diabetes” is the Greek word for siphon. At some point the Ancient Greeks discovered that when certain people drank a lot, the liquids almost immediately left their body in the form of urine – as though it were siphoned from their body.

They further noticed that the urine in these people tasted sweet. Hence the phrase “diabetes mellitus” or sweet flavored siphoned liquid. So what were the ancient Greeks doing tasting urine? They used it as a mouthwash, to prevent the formation of cavities. Remember, this was before the name brand mouthwashes that are so popular today.

Diabetes does not suddenly appear. Before diabetes is diagnosed, the body has already begun to manifest changes and symptoms. Collectively these symptoms are often referred to as pre-diabetes. To test for pre-diabetes, you need to find the blood glucose levels in your bloodstream.

Researchers have defined a blood glucose level threshold that defines diabetes. They’ve also defined a glucose level below which a person is considered normal. If your blood glucose levels fall in the middle of these ranges, you will most likely be diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

But just because you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doomed to get diabetes. But it does mean that you should begin to watch your lifestyle. Many people after being diagnosed with pre-diabetes make lifestyle changes and never experience diabetes.

A Diagnosis of diabetes can be tricky and has changed through the years as science has advanced. A diagnosis of diabetes means that you have a high percentage of glucose in the bloodstream. The percentage of sugar that experts recognize as diabetes has been continually lowered throughout the years. Today, the American Diabetes Association has set the threshold to be a blood glucose level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) when the patient is given the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.

However, one test is not enough. You need to have multiple diabetes tests before you can be 100% confirmed as having diabetes. That’s because a diabetes test can give you a false positive.

Many of the complications from diabetes result from the body being unable to process the glucose that’s in the body. If the body can’t process glucose, the cells can’t get nutrients. The result is often a feeling of tiredness and listlessness. The reason for the body being unable to process glucose is often a deficit of insulin in the body.

Insulin is the magic hormone that breaks down glucose into glycogen, a form of fuel that can be stored in the body as fat and used when needed. Insulin also is the magical chemical that changes the structure of the body’s cells so that they can accept nutrients.

Alice Saracho is webmaster and writer of Visit her site and find articles on diabetic testing supplies as well as other diabetes related information and products.

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