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Genetic Origins and Interventions of Insulin-Dependant Diabetes Mellit

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Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism-the way in which your body converts the

food you eat into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down by

digestive juices into chemicals, including a simple sugar called glucose.

Glucose is your body's main source of energy. After digestion, glucose

passes into your bloodstream, where it is available for cells to take in and

use or store for later use.

In order for your cells to take in glucose, a hormone called insulin must be

present in your blood. Insulin acts as a "key" that unlocks "doors" on cell

surfaces to allow glucose to enter the cells. Insulin is produced by special

cells (called islet cells) in an organ called the pancreas, which is about 6

inches long and lies behind your stomach.

In healthy people, the pancreas automatically produces the right amount of

insulin to enable glucose to enter cells. In people who have diabetes, cells

do not respond to the effects of the insulin that the pancreas produces. If

glucose cannot get inside cells, it builds up in the bloodstream. The

buildup of glucose in the blood-sometimes referred to as high blood sugar or

hyperglycemia (which means "too much glucose in the blood")-is the hallmark

of diabetes.

When the glucose level in your blood goes above a certain level, the excess

glucose flows out from the kidneys (two organs that filter wastes from the

bloodstream) into the urine. The glucose takes water with it, which causes

you to urinate frequently and to become extremely thirsty. These two

conditions-frequent urination and unusual thirst-are usually the first

noticeable signs of diabetes. Another symptom you may notice is weight loss,

which results from the loss of calories and water in your urine.

The path toward type 2 diabetes

As you gain weight, the extra weight causes your cells to become resistant to

the effects of insulin. The pancreas responds by producing more and more

insulin, which eventually begins to build up in your blood. High levels of

insulin in the blood-a condition called insulin resistance-may cause problems

such as high blood pressure and harmful changes in the levels of different

fats (cholesterol) in your blood. Insulin resistance, the hallmark of what

doctors sometimes refer to as "syndrome X," is the first step on the path to

type 2 diabetes.

The second step to type 2 diabetes is a condition called impaired glucose

tolerance. Impaired glucose tolerance occurs when your pancreas becomes

exhausted and can no longer produce enough insulin to get glucose out of your

bloodstream into cells. Glucose begins to build up in your blood. If it is

not diagnosed and not treated, this gradual rise in glucose often leads to

type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease-in any order and in

any combination.

While all these harmful activities are going on inside your body, you feel

perfectly fine. Type 2 diabetes is considered a silent disease because it

works its destruction over many years without causing any noticeable

symptoms. That's why half of the people who have type 2 diabetes don't know

it. You or someone you love could have diabetes.

The good news is that you may be able to avoid type 2 diabetes altogether.

This article will help you understand the disease, learn about your chances

of developing it, and tell you what you can do to try to prevent it. Many

people are able to avoid diabetes by making changes in their lifestyle such

as eating less and exercising more.

Diabetes Statistics

Over 15.7 million people (5.9% of the population) have diabetes and almost

half of them do not know it. And, each day more than 2,200 people are

diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is responsible for more than 180,000 deaths each year in the USA. Diabetes is one of the most costly health care problems in America. Health

care costs directly related to diabetes treatment, as well as the cost of

lost productivity, runs $98 billion annually! 14% of all health care costs

are caused by diabetes and 27% of Medicare's budget is spent treating seniors

with diabetes. 40-45% of persons age 65 or older have Type 2 Diabetes or

Impaired Glucose Tolerance.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people 20-74; the

leading cause of end-stage renal disease; and people with diabetes



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