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Diabetes: An Overview Essay

738 words - 3 pages

Diabetes: A Sugar Rush
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. It is a lifelong illness that can affect both adults and children. It is considered to be one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States right after heart attacks and cancer (medicinenet). Due to the life threatening nature of diabetes, the necessity of controlling it is absolutely essential. Diabetes is a very serious disease with many life threatening consequences, but if it is taken care of properly, diabetics can live a normal life.
There are about 23.6 million children and adults in the Unites States, or about 8% of the population, who have diabetes (diabetes). While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people are unaware that they have the disease (diabetes). Along with the people this disease affects it also affects their pocket books. The total annual cost of diabetes in 2007 was estimated to be 174 billion dollars in the United States (medicinenet). Along with the total cost for diabetes the annual per capita cost for a person with diabetes is roughly around 13, 243 dollars (medicinenet). While a normal person without the disease spends around 2,650 every year for medical expenditures (medicinenet). Because of the increased number of patients, growing reliance on multiple medications and the shift toward more research for the disease, it is understandable of how much money goes into diabetes. In order to fully comprehend why diabetes cost so much, it would be valuable to understand what the disease does to the body.
Diabetes is a set of related diseases in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar (specifically glucose) in the blood (emedicinehealth). Glucose in the blood gives you energy to perform daily activities.
From the foods you eat, glucose in the blood is produced by the liver. Now, in a healthy person, the blood glucose level is regulated by several hormones, including insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. The pancreas secretes other important enzymes that help to digest food. Insulin allows glucose to move from the blood into the liver, muscle, and fat cells, where it is used for fuel. In diabetes, glucose in the...

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