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Diabetes Diabetes is a killer; in fact, it is among the top ten killers of adults in the United States. "It can lead to, or contribute to, a number of other serious diseases" (Sizer and Whitney 112). Diabetes means "syphon" or "to run through" (Sizer and Whitney 112) therefore denoting the increase in urinary volume excreted by people suffering from this disease. Mellitus means "sweet". Diabetes mellitus means increased excretion of sugars being released with the urine, creating a sweet smell at the time of elimination. The patient with this type of disease has a problem with his insulin production or usage. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, that helps to digest the sugars and use them for energy, and must be given through an injection into the arms or legs; if this is not done the gastrointestinal enzymes in a person's stomach will digest the hormone. A diabetic does not produce adequate insulin or cannot use his own. Diabetes mellitus is not a single disease. This is a heterogeneous syndrome for which several theories of etiology (explanation of the cause of the disease) have been proposed (WebMd Health). Diabetes is a life-threatening disease, but it is not a death sentence. With proper maintenance of insulin, exercise, and diet, diabetes can be controlled. Advances in medicine will create a larger variety of treatment options and help remove the stigma, as well as fears, associated with diabetes. The signs and symptoms of diabetes are divided into early, secondary, and late signs. Some of the early signs include polyuria (excessive urination) and thirst; another sign can also be a sweet smell from urine. This odor is due to the loss of water through promoting cellular dehydration. Polyuria is the result of large amounts of glucose, ketone bodies, and protein being excreted by the kidney; an osmotic effect of sugar attracts water and promotes diuresis. The secondary signs include nausea and vomiting, dry mucous membranes with cracked lips, hot flushed skin, abdominal pain and or rigidity, acetone odor of the breath, soft eyeballs because of dehydration, and kidney disease. Other signs include impaired vision or blindness resulting from cataracts and damaged retinas, nerve damage, skin damage, and strokes and heart attacks. The root cause of all of these symptoms is probably the same (Sizer and Whitney 113). Late symptoms includ... ... middle of paper ... ...diseases. Signs and symptoms also vary; they are broken down into early, secondary, and late. Complications also fluctuate depending on the lifestyle and control that the patient has over his insulin. First signs are not good to have and most are, overlooked by the patient. Treatments can range from simple injections to the use of more complicated machinery. Diabetes does not choose a specific race, age, or gender, but any person is at risk. Depending on the diabetic's lifestyle and habits in everyday life, longevity and normal living will triumph. Works Cited American Diabetes Association. 10 March 2005. Apgar, Ellen. Telephone interview. 09 March 2005. Boone, Ria. Personal interview. 14 March 2005. Cordy, Eric. Telephone interview. 2 March 2005. Luckmann Joan, and Karen Creason Sorensen. Medical-Surgical Nursing: A Psychological Approach. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1980. Sizer, Frances, and Eleanor Whitney. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. Eighth edition. Australia: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2000. WebMd Health. 2003. WebMd Corporation. 22 Jan. 2005 . International Diabetes Federation. What is Treatment for Diabetes? 20 Jan. 2004. .

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