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    Diabetes and Your Pancreas: Role of Insulin

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    Diabetes occurs when the pancreas either cannot or has trouble making enough insulin to control the sugar a person receives from their food.

    (Bete, Co. 1972) Diabetes Mellitus is broken down into two groups: Juvenile (Type One), and Adult (TypeTwo) (McHenry, 1993). Type One diabetics are insulin-dependant. People under forty years of age are more prone to this type. They have low serum insulin levels and it more often affects small blood vessels in eyes and kidneys. TypeTwo diabetics are non-insulin dependant.

    This type is prone to people over forty years of age. They have low, normal or high serum insulin levels. It most often affects large blood vessels and nerves (Long, 1993). Type One diabetes was one of the earliest diseases to be documented by historians. Once called “honey urine” and the “Persian fire”.

    The name diabetes was conceived bythe Greek physician Arteus almost eighteen hundred years ago. The disease remained a mystery until 1700 when an English doctor demonstrated that a diabetics blood was abnormally high in sugar (Aaseng, 1995). Thus, bringingto the conclusion that diabetics are unable to use blood sugar as other persons bodies do (McHenry, 1993). With this fact, a young doctor named Fredrick Bantingand a biochemist, Charles Best, were lead to the discovery of manufacturing insulin, the hormone for which is the key to blood sugar processing. Manydiabetics lives have been saved because of this discovery (Aaseng, 1995).

    Aperson is at risk of this disorder if they have diabetic relatives, are over theage of forty years, are over-weight, and if they are of certain racial or ethnicgroups. Women with gestational diabetes who give birth to a baby that weighsmore than nine pounds are also at good risk of conducting this disease (Long,1993). Higher numbers of diabetics occur more in Caucasian people than otherraces, and the highest incidents of Type One diabetes in the world are found inpeople residing in Scandinavian countries (Aaseng, 1995). Some signs andsymptoms of this disorder are: an increased thirst and appetite, frequenturination, fatigue or anxiety, sickness of the stomach, loss of weight, skininfections, blurred vision, or numbness to feet and hands. Blood, urine, orsupplementary tests can be done to determine whether a person is diabetic. Oncediagnosed, the patient can be treated by making changes in their diet,exercising regularly, injecting themselves with insulin, or taking oralmedications (Diabetes, 1997).

    Type Two may be treated by only maintaining ahealthy diet and exercising regularly (Long, 1993). There is no known cure fortype one diabetes, only treatments. Since Bantings and Bests discovery,insulin injections have been the primary treatment. A decade long studycompleted in 1993 by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that morefrequent shots may help infected people live longer and stay healthier (Aaseng,1955). Presently, curing and prevention measures are being studied to treat TypeOne diabetes and hopefully science will produce better treatments and medicinesto combat the disease (Long, 1993).

    Diabetes, no matter what kind or form, is avery serious disease. If it is overlooked it could lead to complications such askidney disease, gangrene, blindness, and heart attacks. If a person suffers fromany of the symptoms they should consult a physician or a dietician. In the end,life is not over after having been diagnosed with diabetes.

    Over the lastcentury, the treatments have gotten stronger and in the future they will groweven better. Through simple measures one could live out their full life whilebeing a diabetic patient. BibliographyMcHenry, Robert. “Diabetes Mellitus. ” Encyclopedia Brittannica.

    1993 ed. Aaseng, Nathan. Autoimmune Diseases. New York, New York: Franklin Watt,Co. 1995.

    Long, Barbera, Wilma Phipps, Virginia Cassmeyer. Medical SurgicalNursing. St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby, 1993.

    “Diabetes” 1997. http:/www. diabetes. org/ada/c20b. csp.

    (16 December 1998) Diabetes, Channing L. Bete Co. , Inc. 1972. PampletHealth Care

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