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What is Diabetes
Recently there has been a lot of attention (and confusion) in the media about Diabetes.
always told about some new pill, diet, or herbal supplement, that I might
try so I won't need to keep taking shots, or hearing about a person's
parent or grandparent who has diabetes "just like me" when I
ask how long they've had it the reply usually is, "about five years"
well, I'll the fact is, it's not the same thing.
What we do have in common are the threat of complications, and their likely source -elevated blood glucose (or sugar).
Since islets cells produce insulin, they define the different types of Diabetes
In the case of Type II Diabetes the islets cell are alive and working, just not enough for the body to metabolize sugar to keep blood glucose levels in a normal range. The reason the islet cells can't fulfill a persons physical demands may be because they are overweight, are eating foods that are so sweet that the islet cells can't metabolize the surplus sugar, or like most organs don't perform as well as they should as part of the aging process. Most Type II diabetics can control their condition with pills that increase the output of insulin along with diet (avoiding sweets) and exercise (to lower body mass). Most don't need to take shots, although if diet and exercise aren't enough an additional amount of injected insulin my be needed. A person can have Type II for years and not know it, in fact it's estimated a third of all cases of Type II remain undiagnosed. Often the first time many people find out that they have this condition is when the damage of years of having it show up in the form of complications.
The causes of Juvenile Diabetes
to genetic research more is being discovered about the factors that trigger
Juvenile Diabetes so that someday it may be prevented from occurring.
There has been research about what sets these triggers off, since there
have been incidences that in pairs of twins where only one develops
Stress or some environmental factors may be the cause there is even speculation
that a reaction to drinking cow's milk may help trigger Juvenile Diabetes.
this essential process, glucose (or sugar) begins to build up in the body
leading to process called Acidosis or Diabetic Ketoacidosis.
This is how people with diabetes, mostly children, died before 1922 and the discovery that injections of animal insulin stabilized blood sugars. This procedure at the time was highly controversial, but it worked.
So essentially what a person Juvenile (or Type 1) Diabetes is faced with are the the missing cells needed to break down carbohydrates.
Since 1922 was a long time ago, and since the relatively simple procedure of injections of animal insulin saved Juvenile Diabetics from certain death it was assumed that a relative simple procedure could be found to cure Diabetes altogether.
An artificial pancreas could be built but how would it know the precise amount of insulin to pump out for an individuals blood glucose levels. Millions of years of evolution has integrated the production and distribution of insulin into the bodies endocrine system so that replacing the pancreas isn't as easy as replacing a hip, or heart valve. The most obvious path would be to transplant the pancreas from a donor to a patient. This is difficult since we still have a haywire immune system, most likely still maladjusted to kill off any new islet cells that may be transplanted.
Many people simply assume that Diabetics are already cured by insulin, and that if there were a way to take insulin in a pill form that Juvenile Diabetes would be no problem at all. But as most insulin dependent Diabetics will tell you, taking insulin is just one, on a long list of difficulties living with this condition.
Since insulin when released by islet cells plays a vital role in an integrated endocrine system and finding a means of controlling ever changing blood sugar levels is hot-wired into a complex system that for most normal people works automatically.
Juvenile Diabetics therefore, in order to survive, have to deal with this manually, and believe me, it isn't easy.