What is Diabetes and Who Will “Get” It

 Who Gets Diabetes, the How and the Why

Diabetes mellitus is typically a life long (unceasing) health problem where there are elevated quantities of glucose in the hemoglobin (blood). Since being diagnosed with it can be an emotional, fearful and life changing event, the information provided here about what is diabetes and who will get it, might help educate and calm some of the fear.

Causes of diabetes are often incidence, and risk factors.

  • Incidence relates to life style, eating and exercise habits.
  • Risk factors include a possible genetic connection for people with close relatives with the disease and being categorized as obese.

Diabetes is a Digestive Process Disorder -Defined Below


The Pancreas and other organs are involved in What is Diabetes and Who Will “Get” It
The Pancreas and other organs are involved in What is Diabetes and Who Will “Get” It

Insulin, circulated in the blood stream,  is an endocrine hormone made by the pancreas to manage blood glucose (sugar) levels. This disease could be brought on by inadequate blood insulin levels, level of resistance to insulin, or either.

To appreciate this disease, it is necessary to initially know the typical procedure by which what you eat is digested and utilized by the digestive system for use as energy.

How normal digestion should work…

A number of things transpire when what you eat is made absorbable:

  • 1. A sugar called glucose enters the circulatory system from the digestive tract.
  • 2. Glucose is converted into a form used by tissue cells to create and provide energy for the nourishment of all body systems.

The pancreas, a glandular organ of the digestive system  produces the hormone insulin. The role of insulin is to move sugar circulating in the blood  into the cells of  muscular tissue, fatty tissue, and the liver, where it is usually put to use as cellular nourishment or in the case of the liver changed and stored for future use.

Individuals with diabetes have elevated blood glucose levels for the reason that their body can not move digested carbohydrates (sugar-glucose) into fatty tissue, the liver, and the muscular tissue cells. In order for sugar (glucose) to become stockpiled in the cells and converted by the cells for use as energy, insulin must transport it inside.

Diabetes appears as a result of the fact that either:

1. The person’s pancreas doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the hormone insulin.

2. Their bodies cells do not work with insulin in a normal way.

3. Both of these reasons.  These reasons can possibly created by over consumption of food and when the pancreas can not produce enough insulin to handle the over abundance, then high sugar levels interfere and the cells become insulin resistant.

Imagine that each cell is a small energy factory with doors that are kept locked.  Insulin is the “key” that will unlock the door and let sugar enter to be converted into energy.

With an abundance of unused sugar floating around in the blood stream, some of it attaches to the door lock and prevents insulin from inserting its key so the doors become insulin insensitive  (blocked) and no longer work.

There are several types of Diabetes

At this time there are two significant forms of this disease  and the reasons and chances of developing the disease are varied in each type.

Juvenile or type 1 diabetes can develop at every stage of life, but it is frequently detected in youngsters, teenagers, or young adults. With this type of disease, the human body creates limited or zero insulin  and everyday injections of insulin are required. The specific origin of this type has not been completely documented at the present time, but is the subject of much research.

Adult onset diabetes (type 2) represents the major form diagnosed today and frequently develops in the adult years. Previously it was a disease of older adults and seniors.

Unfortunately, because of high obesity rates, teens and young adults and even children as young as 8 years old are now being diagnosed with it.
Another little know fact is that large numbers of people already have type 2 of this disease, but do not recognize it or know they have it.

Pregnancy or gestational is a less prevalent type of the disease caused by sky-high blood glucose levels. This sometimes occurs unexpectedly, at any time, throughout pregnancy in an expectant mother-to-be who has not been previously diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes touches the lives of in excess of 20 million Americans. Almost 40 million Americans have elevated blood sugar levels which place them in a pre-diabetic category (Many times this is present before it turns into a disease and, if treated in this stage could possibly prevent development of full blown diabetes).  Charts and more exact facts and figures are available  here:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Diabetes Report Card 2012. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2012

With the information above, you should have a clearer idea of what type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes are and hopefully be able to discern if any of the risk factors listed might apply to you.

For more detailed information on the Endocrine system and your digestive processes and how they work visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancreas.

Your caregiver can perform a blood test or an A1c glucose test which is also available at many pharmacies.  So do a little homework and figure out if you might have this dreaded disease.

Evaluation, treatment and implementing the information you gain by becoming knowledgeable about how your body works may help you avoid the complications of untreated diabetes.
Read more about diabetes complication: Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes