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Research Paper on Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus Research Essay

Abstract

Diabetes is a disease that affects 18.2 million people in the United States alone. This disease results when there is a high level of sugar in the blood for an extended period of time. It can be controlled by diet, exercise, pills and insulin injections. There are three main types of diabetes--Type I, which affects primarily the younger population; Type II, which primarily affects the population above 40; and gestational diabetes, which affects women during the third trimester of their pregnancy. While scientists do not know what causes diabetes, they do know that it is caused from a variety of factors that can vary from person to person. Examples of these factors are heredity, being overweight, and problems with beta cells, which are located in the pancreas. Diabetes can result in blurred vision, retinopathy, nerve problems, dry skin, and kidney issues. Diet plays a major role in the prevention of these problems. Sugar concentration in the blood is a major factor for diabetics, so understanding the sugar content of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is essential. The goal from a diet perspective is to control your sugar in your bloodstream in such a way that the insulin in your bloodstream can manage it efficiently. In addition to diet, medication and exercise play a key role in controlling this disease. Currently, there is no known cure for diabetes.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Defined

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease where the blood in the body contains a high sugar level. This disease is caused by the body's inability to use insulin properly, or the inability to manufacture insulin altogether. There are times when it can be caused by both factors. "Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and leg amputations. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the United States." (Magee, 1999 p. 2)

The Normal Process

When you eat a meal, your body begins the digestion process. The food breaks down and enters the bloodstream in the form of sugars. Once the sugars are circulating in your blood, the cells need to be able to admit the sugar. A hormone called insulin is the factor that makes this possible. Once the insulin lets the sugar into the cells, it is used to produce energy.

The Failure

Taking insulin out of the equation, the cells in your body cannot use sugar as they would normally. Consequently, they do not get enough...

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Category:   Biology

Length:   13 pages (2,816 words)

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