Diabetes and education

If you or someone you love has diabetes, there is a lot that you need to learn to help to keep this chronic illness under control. To that end, there are numerous sources for you to get the information you need about the disease, how to treat it, and any other questions that you may have. The National Diabetes Education Program is a prime example of a place to get accurate information about this disease. Located online at http://www.ndep.nih.gov/, this institute represents a coalition of public and private organizations, partnered with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This site is a great resource for learning about diabetes and what it means to your health. That being said, here is some basic information regarding diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes: Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes. Type I diabetes usually strikes early in life, around the time that someone is a child or an adolescent. Adults can get Type I diabetes too, but it is much less common. Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas’ beta cells are unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a compound which allows the glucose that is found in the foods that we eat to be processed and turned into fuel for the cells of our body. This is a necessary chemical process, for if our cells don’t get the fuel they need, their functioning may be affected.

When someone has Type I diabetes for at least 5 to 10 years, the pancreas may no longer produce insulin at all. To help the body cope with this problem, people with Type I need to rely on outside sources of insulin which can be administered via an injection or a pump. Type I diabetes may strike without warning, and symptoms such as increased need to urinate often and increased hunger and thirst that don’t go away. Type II diabetes is another type of problem with glucose and insulin. In Type II, the body creates insulin, but is unable to use it due to an insulin resistance in the receptors of the body’s cells. Since the body can’t tell why insulin is not being used, the pancreas attempts to create more and more insulin, eventually resulting in exhaustion of the beta cells and a high level of glucose in the bloodstream. Symptoms of Type II diabetes are very similar to those of Type I, with an increased need to urinate and a strong desire for food and beverage. Sufferers of Type II diabetes are often overweight. This is due to the fact that fat in the body can interfere with your cells insulin uptake. People with Type II diabetes do not need to inject insulin, and instead rely on oral medications to help contain their problem.

Both types of diabetes are serious conditions, which if suspected to be present, need to be addressed by a health care professional. If diabetes is present, learning to maintain blood sugar levels and keep a healthy diet and exercise plan are necessary to keeping the condition from harming you to a great extent.