Diabetes Essay

1450 Words 6 Pages

Almost everyone knows someone who has diabetes. An estimated 16 million people in the United States have diabetes mellitus—which is a serious lifelong condition. About one-third of these 16 million people have not been diagnosed. Each year, about 800,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes.(NIDDK)

Figure 1--Prevalence of diabetes in men and women in the U.S. population age 20 years or older, based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. Diabetes includes previously diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes defined by fasting plasma glucose greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL. (age-std=age-standardized)

What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism—the way our bodies use digested food
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Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. With diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. Someone with type 1 diabetes needs to take insulin daily to live.

Still today, scientists do not know exactly what causes the body’s immune system to attack the beta cells, but they believe that both genetic factors and environmental factors, possibly viruses, are involved. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5-10% of diagnosed diabetes in the United States.

Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children and young adults, but the disorder can appear at any age. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develops over a short period, although beta cells destruction can begin years earlier.

Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. If not diagnosed and treated with insulin, a person can lapse into an life-threatening diabetic coma, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis.(NIDDK)

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes usually develops in adults age 40 and older and is most common in adults

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