Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

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Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

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Insulin-dependent Diabetes is a disorder in which the body does not

produce enough insulin and is, therefore, unable to convert nutrients into

the energy necessary for daily activity. The disorder affects females

and males approximately equally. Although the causes of insulin-

dependent diabetes are not known, genetic factors seem to play a role.

Normally, sugars and starches (carbohydrates) in the foods we eat are

processed by digestive juices into glucose. Glucose circulates in

the blood as a major energy source for body functions. Its use is

regulated primarily by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas gland

(located behind the stomach). In the person with diabetes, there is

a malfunction in the production of insulin. There are two main types

of diabetes: Type I or Insulin-Dependent and Type II or Noninsulin-


The insulin-dependent type of diabetes generally has onset during

childhood or adolescence, though it can occur at any age. Because

the pancreas supplies little or no insulin in this disease, daily

injections of the hormone and a controlled diet are necessary to

regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is generally effective in

preventing glucose buildup, but it is a treatment and not a cure for


The onset of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes begins with frequent

urination, extreme thirst, constant hunger, and unexplained weight

loss. Because people with Type I Diabetes lack sufficient insulin,

glucose accumulates in the blood to levels too high for the kidneys to

excrete. In an effort to remove the excess sugar, the kidneys excrete

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