Type 2 Diabeties Essay, Research Paper
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism–the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down by the digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. After digestion, the glucose passes into our bloodstream where it is available for body cells to use for growth and energy. For the glucose to get into the cells, insulin must be present. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. When we eat, the pancreas is supposed to automatically produce the right amount of insulin to move the glucose from our blood into our cells. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body. Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose.
The three main types of diabetes are: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and Gestational diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (once known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or NIDDM). About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes usually develops in adults over the age of 40 and is most common among adults over age 55. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces insulin, but for some reason, the body cannot use the insulin effectively. The end result is the same as for type 1 diabetes–an unhealthy buildup of glucose in the blood and an inability of the body to make efficient use of its main source of fuel. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop gradually and are not as noticeable as in type 1 diabetes. Symptoms include feeling tired or ill, frequent urination (especially at night), unusual thirst, weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections, and slow healing of sores.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially older women who are overweight, and occurs more often among African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, diabetes rates are about 60 percent higher in African Americans and 110 to 120 percent higher in Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans. American Indians have the highest rates of diabetes in the world. Among Pima Indians living in the United States, for example, half of all adults have type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is likely to increase because older people, Hispanics, and other minority groups make up the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, all people with type 1 diabetes died within a few years after the appearance of the disease. Although insulin is not considered a cure for diabetes, its discovery was the first major breakthrough in diabetes treatment. Daily injections of insulin are the basic therapy for type 1 diabetes. Insulin injections must be balanced with meals and daily activities, and glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood sugar testing. Diet, exercise, and blood testing for glucose are also the basis for management of type 2 diabetes. In addition, some people with type 2 diabetes take oral drugs or insulin to lower their blood glucose levels. People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care. Much of the daily care involves trying to keep blood sugar levels from going too low or too high. When blood sugar levels drop too low–a condition known as hypoglycemia–a person can become nervous, shaky, and confused. Judgment can be impaired. Eventually, the person could pass out. The treatment for low blood sugar is to eat or drink something with sugar in it. On the other hand, a person can become very ill if blood sugar levels rise too high, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, which can occur in people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, are both potentially life-threatening emergencies.
Government agencies that sponsor diabetes programs are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indian Health Service, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Bureau of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Many organizations outside of the Government support diabetes research and education activities. These organizations include the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
In recent years, advances in diabetes research have led to better ways to manage diabetes and treat its complications. Major advances include:
+ New forms of purified insulin, such as human insulin produced through genetic engineering.
+ Better ways for doctors to monitor blood glucose levels and for people with diabetes to test their own blood glucose levels at home.
+ Development of external and implantable insulin pumps that deliver appropriate amounts of insulin, replacing daily injections.
+ Laser treatment for diabetic eye disease, reducing the risk of blindness.
+ Successful transplantation of kidneys in people whose own kidneys fail because of diabetes.
+ Better ways of managing diabetic pregnancies, improving chances of successful outcomes.