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Diabetics & Massage Therapy

Pathology, Prevalence, Etiology, Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes, according to Leroith, Taylor and Olefsky (2003) is a disease involving difficulty in the transportation of glucose into the cells of the body either because not enough insulin is produced or because the body's response to insulin is weak. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2004)found that the prevalence of diabetes in the population is approximately 6.3 percent of the population. It was estimated that a total of about 13 million people are diagnosed with diabetes while about 5.2 million have yet to be diagnosed. The CDC study also found that slightly more women than men have the condition but that type 2 diabetes is becoming more common among children and adolescents, particularly in American Indians, African-Americans and Hispanics.

There are two types of Diabetes. The first type (Type 1 diabetes) is said to be caused by an autoimmune disorder involving specialized cells in the pancreas that make insulin, which the immune system attacks. When sufficient cells are destroyed, the person begins to show the symptoms of diabetes and no insulin is produced (American Diabetes Association, 2004). Type 2 diabetes involves the inability of the body to respond properly to insulin or an insufficiency in insulin production (American Diabetes Association).

As to signs and symptoms, the American Diabetes Association (2004) notes the following typical symptoms:

Further, signs of diabetes can include edema in the legs, pallor from anemia, and weakness, all of which are related to diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease).

Feudtner (2003) states that the pathology of Diabetes is associated with dramatic increases in blood glucose levels, an insufficiency of insulin, increased mobilization of fats causing ft metabolism and deposition of lipids in vascular beds, and a depletion of body proteins. Often there can be body dehydration due to elev...

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