Diabetes Essay

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Diabetes Mellitus is a serious disease shared by 16 million Americans (PharmInfoNet1). It is a disease characterized by a failure of the pancreas to produce enough if any insulin. Insulin is the chemical in the body that turns sugar into usable energy. “While it is treatable, diabetes is still a killer. The fourth leading cause of death in America, diabetes claims an estimated 178,000 lives each year. So the treatment is aimed at holding the disease in check, reversing it where possible, and preventing complications” (Hingley 33). Due to the life threatening nature of diabetes, the necessity of controlling it is absolutely imperative. Philip Cryer, M.D., president of the American Diabetes Association and a professor at Washington…show more content…
It does this by allowing glucose in the bloodstream to enter the cells of the body as needed for energy. Insulin holds the key that unlocks the cell door. Without it, the cell door stays closed and glucose cannot enter. At this point, the cells of the body cannot produce the energy required to function properly and they literally starve to death (American Diabetes Association). Glucose, having nowhere else to go, builds up in the bloodstream, increasing to dangerous levels.
There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes, or insulin dependent diabetes. With type I diabetes, the pancreas, for reasons unknown, ceases to produce insulin altogether. This usually occurs over the course of a week or two, leaving a person with no other choice but to inject insulin daily for the rest of their lives. Only ten percent of all diabetics have this type. Type II diabetes is far more prevalent. Its onset is usually much more gradual, occurs later in life, and is most often the result of heredity. It is exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. With type II diabetes, the pancreas does not stop producing insulin as it does in type I. Rather, insulin production might decrease or, more often, the body’s ability to utilize the insulin it does produce becomes severely diminished. In most cases, however, this situation can be improved
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