One of the largest growing problems in America is a disorder that is beginning to gain more and more attention, diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a “chronic, lifelong condition that affects your body’s ability to use the energy found in food” (WebMD 2014). Diabetes is caused by a hormone known as insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is needed to draw sugar, or glucose, from food that we eat from our blood and into our cells. Without glucose feeding our cells, they can not function properly.
All types of diabetes are caused by one of two things, the body 's inability to utilize the insulin it produces or a decrease in the production of insulin itself. While both types of diabetes affect blood glucose levels, the pathophysiology is different for each. Diabetes Mellitus type 1 is an autoimmune disorder. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system “attacks the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. A lack of insulin in the blood means inadequate amounts of glucose are taken up by cells of the body to provide energy for cellular functions. Consequently, glucose remains in the blood” (Robertson 2014). The second kind of diabetes, referred to as type 2, “is the most common form of diabetes” (American Diabetes Association 2014). Type 2 diabetes has two primary causes, “either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin” (American Diabetes Association 2014). With low amounts of insulin, the amount of glucose being taken into the cell will be low, leading to high levels remaining in the blood. With glucose remaining in the blood, blood glucose levels will be high. With high levels of glucose in the blood, and minimal to none in the cells, the cells tell the brain to continue ...
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...le and in fat tissue. They lower the amount of sugar released by the liver and make fat cells more sensitive to the effects of insulin” (WebMD 20014).
Medications are not the only way to help maintain a healthy glucose level. While type 1 can not be prevented, chances of developing type 2 diabetes can be decreased by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. This includes avoiding high fat, high sugar foods, exercising, and maintaining glucose levels. It is important for those living with diabetes to be aware of the possible complications and know how to observe the signs and symptoms. Oral care as well as foot care is extremely important to prevent oral ulcers as well as diabetic ulcers which can ultimately lead to necrotic tissue development. By following a diet and exercise plan along with medical care it is possible to live a healthy life with diabetes.
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