Diabetes can be described as the body’s inability to either produce or effectively utilize the hormone insulin, leading to an accumulation of sugar in the blood. Elevated blood sugar levels left untreated lead to a myriad of complications and can be fatal. Hormone is produced by the pancreas. It is released into the blood and governs the utilization of glucose (sugar) in the cells. Without it, cells become starved and body organs begin processes to compensate, such as the burning of protein and the overproduction of urine in the renal system to flush excess sugar. Diabetes can be classified as either type one or type two. Type one, otherwise referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes, is typically diagnosed early in the life and involves the complete inability of the body to produce insulin. It is always fatal without treatment. The exact causes are unknown.

Type two diabetes, otherwise known as adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the result of the body’s cells being unable to effectively utilize insulin. It’s causes are almost exclusively lifestyle related. Obesity, high stress levels, and low activity levels are known risk factors. Many individual with type two diabetes are completely unaware of their condition for years or even decades. By the time of diagnosis they often already have severe complications, such as renal disease, vision loss, and poor circulation in the extremities. Diabetes is one the most of the common diseases and leading causes of morbidity in the developing world. It is the seventh leading cause of death in America and a contributing factor in thousands of cases of heart disease and stroke every year. Diabetes is also one of the leading causes of renal failure and blindness in the developing world. Fortunately, the better a person controls his blood sugar levels, the lower his risk of complications, and early death associated with diabetes.

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