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What Is Diabetes?

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases marked by high-levels of sugar within the blood where the body cannot produce insulin properly and therefore food cannot be turned into energy. Diabetes was first recognized as a sickness related to "sweet urine" and a lot of loss in muscle thousands of years ago.

Blood glucose levels should be controlled by insulin; a hormone produced inside the pancreas. Insulin lowers the glucose level to regularize it when consuming food or other times when blood glucose levels elevate. People that do not produce as much insulin are affected by hyperglycemia. Although diabetes can moderate, it is a disease which lasts forever.

What can Diabetes do?

Diabetes are related to kidney failure, and severe damage to the nerves, which is when tiny vessels are damaged known as microvasular disease. Diabetes also increases the pace at which arteries get blocked, which increase the chance of heart strokes, or coronary heart disease. Looking at it economically, the full cost of diabetes in the United States in 1997 was around $98 billion. Diabetes is the third largest cause of deaths occurring in the United States. It affects 17 million people in the United States annually!

The lack of insulin in the body is what leads to diabetes. Glucose is an essential nutrient that provides energy to the cells to function properly. The intestinal cells absorb the glucose and carry it through the bloodstream to the rest of the body.

Insulin also regulates carbohydrates and metabolism in the body. It is produced within the pancreas and regulates the amount of glucose the blood contains. For patients with diabetes: either an inadequate amount of insulin is present, or it cannot be used properly by the body.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes come in two main types. Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are both extremely harmful for the body and they both last a lifetime. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. In diabetes, the immune system rejects the insulin-producing beta cells and destroys them which prevents the pancreas from producing insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system produces antibodies and inflammatory cells by accident which causes damage to patients' body. Many patients with type 1 diabetes have been found with abnormal antibodies. People with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin everyday to survive.

Type 2 diabetes is the most frequent form of diabetes; 90-95% of patients with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes is often related to older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, and ethnicity. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. In type 2 diabetes, insulin can still be produced, but very ineffectively. When type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the pancreas is usually creating enough insulin, but for unknown reasons, the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. Studies show that although type 2 is usually related with old age, children and young teenagers are starting to be affected by type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a major reason that type 2 diabetes occur.

Diabetes may also temporarily occur during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, a numerous number of changes are occurring within her hormones leading to blood sugar elevation. Diabetes can also be a result of excessive growth hormone production or crushing's syndrome. Also the effects of certain medications can worsen diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Some symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

* Fatigue

* Nausea

* Increased thirst

* Increased urination



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