Diabetes is caused by a disorder of the endocrine system. It's a serious disease that has no cure. A person is diagnosed with diabetes when the body no longer uses insulin properly or doesn't produce insulin at all. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is what is needed to properly send glucose into the cells of the body to turn them into energy. When the insulin is low or is not functioning properly, it causes high amounts of glucose to stay in the bloodstream.
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (adult onset) is diagnosed in people who either do not produce insulin or produce it in amounts too low to be effective. These people are insulin dependent for life. In people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced but is either not used properly or is not produced enough. Diet and exercise can sometimes control glucose levels in Type 2 diabetics, but medications are available. The last type is gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women and sometimes disappears after birth. This type can be controlled with diet and recommended exercise. Insulin can also be prescribed.
Why People Develop Diabetes
Pinpointing a specific reason for diabetes in certain people is difficult because there are so many causes.
Heredity plays a big part in whether or not a person will develop diabetes, with the most incidences occurring when either the mother or father has it. Another cause of diabetes is age. The risk of developing diabetes increases as a person gets older. With age, it's a matter of the pancreas slowing down on the production of insulin just as other organs begin to slow. Minority groups such as Hispanics, tend to develop diabetes at a higher rate. Also among the at-risk are people who are obese. Diabetes is never a certainty in anyone, but certain people can be at a higher risk for it.
The Diabetic Life
Dealing with diabetes can be stressful. Strict diets, regular exercise and constantly monitoring glucose levels can be difficult for people to maintain. Daily medication or insulin shots can add to the stress. It's important for people who develop diabetes to keep up with their doctor visits and follow all instructions they are given. With the proper care and mentality, people diagnosed with diabetes are able to live happy and normal lives.
- Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons, Mr. Hyde
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