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A Study Of Diabetes Mellitus Essay

2822 words - 11 pages

AbstractDiabetes is a disease that affects 18.2 million people in the United States alone. This disease results when there is a high level of sugar in the blood for an extended period of time. It can be controlled by diet, exercise, pills and insulin injections. There are three main types of diabetes--Type I, which affects primarily the younger population; Type II, which primarily affects the population above 40; and gestational diabetes, which affects women during the third trimester of their pregnancy. While scientists do not know what causes diabetes, they do know that it is caused from a variety of factors that can vary from person to person. Examples of these factors are heredity, being overweight, and problems with beta cells, which are located in the pancreas. Diabetes can result in blurred vision, retinopathy, nerve problems, dry skin, and kidney issues. Diet plays a major role in the prevention of these problems. Sugar concentration in the blood is a major factor for diabetics, so understanding the sugar content of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is essential. The goal from a diet perspective is to control your sugar in your bloodstream in such a way that the insulin in your bloodstream can manage it efficiently. In addition to diet, medication and exercise play a key role in controlling this disease. Currently, there is no known cure for diabetes.Diabetes MellitusDiabetes DefinedDiabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease where the blood in the body contains a high sugar level. This disease is caused by the body's inability to use insulin properly, or the inability to manufacture insulin altogether. There are times when it can be caused by both factors. "Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and leg amputations. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the United States." (Magee, 1999 p. 2)The Normal ProcessWhen you eat a meal, your body begins the digestion process. The food breaks down and enters the bloodstream in the form of sugars. Once the sugars are circulating in your blood, the cells need to be able to admit the sugar. A hormone called insulin is the factor that makes this possible. Once the insulin lets the sugar into the cells, it is used to produce energy.The FailureTaking insulin out of the equation, the cells in your body cannot use sugar as they would normally. Consequently, they do not get enough energy. Not only do they not get enough energy, the sugar builds up in the blood because it has nowhere to go. When the sugar level in the blood rises to high levels and stays there for extended periods of time, the result is diabetes.Insulin Defined. All of the cells in a person's body are enclosed in a membrane. Insulin triggers the membranes to let them know that sugars are available in the blood. Insulin attaches itself to sites, called insulin receptors, like a key fits into a lock. Once the key is admitted, the cell's membrane unlocks to allow the flow of sugars to enter. It is then burned by...

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