DIABETES

Further complications associated with diabetes include kidney disease, blindness, and the threat of amputations. This health concern currently affects about 16 million people in the United States with an estimated five million of those unaware of their condition. These numbers increase every year along with the rising costs associated with health care provisions. This discussion examines what diabetes is, the lifestyle and genetic risk factors of the disease and its potential health consequences. It will also discuss preventative measures as well as proper diet and care for those afflicted with the disease.

A primary factor in diabetes is the level of insulin present in the body. Insulin is a chemical the body produces naturally to mange the induction of glucose into the system. When the body produces too little amounts of insulin, greater amounts of glucose are allowed to enter the bloodstream thereby causing the symptoms of the disease called diabetes. Glucose, a simple sugar, enters the body by way of ingested food and into every red blood cell via the bloodstream. the cells then break down the glucose which acts to supply energy throughout the body. Brain cells, as well as other organs, are fueled by glucose alone. In diabetics, the body does not keep a stable amount of glucose in the cells. This means the body has more than the necessary glucose levels immediately after a meal but too little otherwise. To maintain a constant blood-glucose level, the healthy body produces glucagon and insulin, two hormones originating from the pancreas. Typically, there is balance of these hormones in the bloodstream with the insulin acting to prevent the concentration of blood-glucose from increasing disproportionately.

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