Diabetes Essay

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What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where people are unable to control the level of glucose- a type of sugar in their blood because their pancreas does not work properly. Diabetes result from a combination of heredity and environmental factors, such as what and how much a person eats and how much exercise they do. Some people are more at risk of developing diabetes than others these are some of the factors that might affect a person’s likelihood of developing diabetes; family history, age, ethnicity, weight, waist measurement, blood pressure and previous medical conditions. Some people may have only one of these factors, others may have many. Studies of identical twins have shown that if one twin develops diabetes, the other twin is likely to as well.

When someone has diabetes, the body produces either too little insulin or none at all. Without enough insulin, the body is unable to turn glucose from food into energy. This means blood glucose levels may become too high or too low, and need help to maintain healthy glucose levels. The pancreas is a small gland about 15 cm long, which lies crosswise behind the stomach. Under normal circumstances, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin is produced by groups of cells inside the pancreas known as the islets of Langerhans. Insulin converts glucose from food into energy to be used by the body. Glucose is found in carbohydrates, such as bread products, cereals, rice, potatoes, yams and plantain, as well as in sugar and other sweet foods. Insulin also helps the liver absorb and store glucose that is not being used immediately. When the body needs energy, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream and insuli...

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...etes in children is linked to the rise in childhood obesity. Overweight people have lots of fat cells in their bodies which are more resistant to insulin than muscle cells. The pancreas usually responds to this by producing more insulin. This can go on for a long time, sometimes many years. Eventually the pancreas is unable to continue producing the high amounts of insulin needed to keep blood sugar levels normal. Up to 80 per cent of cases of type 2 are preventable by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.
Type 1 symptoms include unnecessary thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, weakness and fatigue. Type 2 symptoms are similar to those in type 1. However, some people with type 2 do not have any symptoms at all. For others the first indication may be complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, blurred vision and a foot ulcer.

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