Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, is a chronic illness this means that it has no cure and the symptoms persist over a long period of time. This illness is a result of an imbalance of hormones, insulin, produced in the pancreas. Insulin plays an important role in how the body uses food. Insulin enables the cells in the bloodstream to absorb and use glucose for fuel. If the pancreas produces too little or no insulin or if the insulin doesn’t work properly the person may become diabetic. Therefore, diabetics are not able to properly convert food into fuels needed by the body to function, which can seriously lead to physical consequences.

The pancreas, located behind the stomach, is a long, thin organ about the length of the hand. It is the organ that is responsible for the development of diabetes. The pancreas has two different types of cells, called alpha and beta cells, which produce insulin. Insulin is responsible for breaking down food that enters the body, turning into fuel that can be used by the body, and distributing it to the various parts of the body. The fuels needed for the body to function are known as glucose.

Glucose is sugar manufactured when the carbohydrates we eat are digested. Carbohydrates are foods that contain a large amount of sugar or starch. Bread, fruit, ice cream, and cereal are good examples of foods that are high in carbohydrates. Glucose is the main provider of energy for the majority of bodily functions. The glucose level in the blood changes in response to a person’s a daily activity, from eating a meal, to stressful situations.

Attempts to transplant part of a normal pancreas into a diabetic have not been very successful. The operation is a difficult one and only about 40 percent of the transplanted organs are still working. One major problem is that some way has to be found to stop the digestive juices leaking out and digesting the insulin. Pancreatic transplants have mainly been attempted in patients who have kidney failure due to the diabetes. Since the pancreas lies up against one of the kidneys, it is technically possible to transplant the two organs together, simultaneously. But, this operation has only ever been attempted a few times.

A possibly more promising hope for the future is transplanting just the islet cells. They could be injected into the abdomen without any surgery. The problem is how to stop the ...

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...s for the rest of your life. But diabetics who have this self-discipline find that they are able to control their disease. Many successful and well-known people have diabetes, but it does not control their lives. By researching all the diabetics can about diabetes, taking charge of their healthy and getting support from friends and family, diabetics can live with their disease-not spite of it.

Although the research only involved those who had Type I diabetes, doctors feel the results may be useful for individuals with Type II as well. That’s because complications in both forms of the illness often develop for the same reasons. Undoubtedly, the outlook for curing diabetes has brightened and physicians remain optimistic about the future. Technological and medical advances have helped make life better for many diabetics. Better awareness of methods of prevention has also helped many who are at high risk for diabetes to avoid developing the disease. In the years to come, many more advances will be made. This will make it sill easier for people with diabetes to lead healthy, normal lives. And there is hope that those with diabetes today may live to see their disease completely cured.

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