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Diabetes Types 1 And 2 Thoroughly Explained

1344 words - 5 pages

WHAT CAUSES IT?Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone that helps the body's tissues absorb glucose so it can be used as a source of energy. The condition may also develop if muscle and fat cells respond poorly to insulin. In people with diabetes, glucose levels build up in the blood and urine. Diabetes mellitus differs from the less common Diabetes insipidus, which is caused by lack of the hormone vasopressin that controls the amount of urine secreted. In Diabetes mellitus, without an appropriate level of insulin to help absorption glucose builds up in the blood because it cannot enter the cells. When the blood passes through the kidneys, organs that remove blood impurities, the kidneys cannot absorb all of the excess glucose. This excess glucose spills into the urine, accompanied by water and electrolytes (ions required by cells to regulate the electric charge and flow of water molecules across the cell membrane) this causes frequent urination to get rid of the additional water drawn into the urine; this triggers excessive thirst to replace lost water and hunger to replace the glucose lost in urination.Diabetes is classified into two types. In Type I, or insulin-dependent Diabetes mellitus (IDDM), formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes, the body does not produce insulin or produces it only in very small quantities. Symptoms usually appear suddenly and in individuals under 20 years of age. Most cases occur before or around puberty. In the United States, about 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, up to 800,000 people, suffer from Type I diabetes. About 30,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.Type I diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease because the immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, known as beta cells, that produce insulin. Scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors, such as viruses or food proteins, may somehow trigger the immune system to destroy these cells.Untreated Type I diabetes affects the metabolism of fat. Because the body cannot convert glucose into energy, it begins to break down stored fat for fuel; this produces increasing amounts of acidic compounds called ketone bodies in the blood, which interfere with respiration.In Type II, or non-insulin-dependent Diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), formerly called adult-onset diabetes, the body either makes insufficient amounts of insulin or is unable to use it. The most common form of diabetes, Type II accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. Each year 595,000 new cases are diagnosed. The onset of Type II diabetes usually occurs after the age of 40, and often after the age of 55, because symptoms develop slowly, individuals with the disease may not immediately recognize that they are sick. Scientists believe that in some persons weight gain or obesity triggers diabetes; about 80 percent of diabetics with this form of the disease are overweight.HOW...

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