Diabetes: How It Can Happen

by : limevelyn

The statistics of Americans who have diabetes is staggering. There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one third) are unaware that they have the disease.

Damage to the body may occur way before the disease is diagnosed. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you can become disabled by the health ailments that you are inflicted with.

First, to understand diabetes you must know how the body works. Your body breaks down the food that you consume. Food is broken down to three groups; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Meat, fish, eggs, and other dairy products provide us with protein. Fats are found in vegetable oils, meat, cheese, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates find their way into your body through starches and sugars. Bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables all have starches and sugars.

When carbohydrates get broken down into blood sugar, this glucose provides you with energy. Energy is needed for you to perform your daily tasks. Blood sugar needs the help of insulin to absorb the glucose. The pancreas, which is found near the stomach, puts out insulin and other enzymes important for digesting food.

A diabetic body may produce little or no insulin, or the cells become insulin resistant. Glucose will back up into the body if cells do not absorb blood sugar. The body will then get rid of the excess through frequent urination. That is one of the first symptoms of diabetes.

When your body cannot regulate the glucose in your blood, serious complications result. The pancreas produces insulin and insulin allows the glucose to flow into the liver, muscles, and fat cells where it is used for fuel. When someone suffers from diabetes, the glucose in the blood cannot move to the cells and even harms some organs and tissues because of the high levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

When the body does not produce insulin, or does not produce enough to regulate blood glucose levels, Type 1 diabetes is the result. About ten percent of diabetics in the United States have Type 1 diabetes. Also known as juvenile onset diabetes it usually is diagnosed during childhood or early adolescence. It can occur in adults if the pancreas has been destroyed or removed. Diabetics who are Type 1 need daily insulin to stay alive.

About 90 percent of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes. The body resists the insulin the pancreas produces in these diabetics, and usually is discovered in adults after the age of 45. It is possible for younger patients to have Type 2 diabetes, and some patients diagnosed will need to use insulin daily. Weigh loss, exercise, change of diet and oral medications are used to control Type 2 diabetes.

If you have a family history of diabetes, be aware of the symptoms. If you show signs of diabetes such as increased urination, increased thirst, and a sudden weight gain or loss, you should contact your family doctor. Do not wait too long to get yourself diagnosed as early detection can possibly save you from damaged organs.