Diabetes 101 Essay

1992 words - 8 pages

Having diabetes is dangerous. A person must change their entire way of living. If changes are not made, diabetes can bring along many harmful and serious health problems such as blindness, kidney disease, amputations, heart disease, and stroke. The key to diabetes is to understand; a person needs to learn about the disease to choose a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetes is one of the main causes of illness and death worldwide. Nearly 25.8 million people of the U.S population have diabetes (Mathur). In the world, about 18.8 billion people of all races, children and adults of all ages, are diagnosed with this disease (Mathur). Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that makes up the muscle tissue in the body. It is the brain’s main source of fuel (Christian). There are three main types of diabetes: which are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not produce any insulin at all. Type 2 is when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the insulin is not working correctly. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (Christian). If a person has diabetes no matter what type it means that there is too much glucose in the blood, and this could cause serious health problems (Christian).
Insulin is a natural hormone made by the pancreas which is found behind the stomach that controls the level of sugar glucose in the blood. It is important that the body have insulin because it permits cells to use glucose for energy. Without insulin, cells cannot utilize glucose (Definition of Insulin). Insulin is made by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans. Langerhans are two types of cells which are alpha and beta cells. Alpha cells, which make glucagon, a hormone that raises the level of glucose sugar in the blood and beta cells which make insulin (Definition of Insulin) .The role of insulin is to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the muscle, fat, and liver cells where it can be used as fuel. People with diabetes have high blood sugar because their body cannot move sugar into the fat, liver, and muscle cells to be stored for energy. This happens because their pancreas does not make enough insulin or their body does not respond to insulin normally (Definition of Insulin).
Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. However, it is most often diagnosed in children or young adults. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and also destroys certain cells that are in the pancreas. Without insulin it is hard for the body to convert sugar from food into nutrients for cells causing excess sugar to build up in the blood stream and may eventually cause damage to the organs and this could cause premature death (PubMed Health). The cells that get destroyed are called the beta cells which produce insulin to help the body move the glucose contained in food into cells...

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