The genetics behind Diabetes

Essay by cecarve2University, Bachelor'sB+, May 2006

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure. Therefore it comes to no surprise that this disease has acquired countless number of attentions. Unfortunately, 5.4 million people in the United State are unaware that they have this disease. Until they do, they have already developed life-threatening complications. This may include blindness, kidney diseases, nerves diseases, heart diseases, strokes, and amputations. It is no wonder that diabetes is known as the silent killer. Diabetes is condition where the body does not produce or properly use insulin, which is a type of hormone that converts sugar, starches, and other types of foods into the energy that humans need everyday. It controls the blood sugar level and without it, death is inevitable. There are two major types of diabetes: Type I, and Type II. Type I is where the body does not produce any insulin also known as insulin dependent or immune-medicated diabetes.

It is a disease that destroys the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. Type II is where the body can't make enough or properly use insulin, also known as non-insulin dependent. Genetics, environmental factors, and a lack of exercise play an important role in the cause of diabetes. (ADA, What is Diabetes?)

For Type I diabetes, two problems may occur: ketoacidosis, and hyperglycemia. In ketoacidosis, your body produces ketones. This occurs when your blood glucose level increases too high. The productions of ketones have its unpleasant results. Ketones can cause you to vomit, have trouble breathing, become dehydrated, have dry itchy skin, and/or go into a coma. Hyperglycemia is where your blood glucose level is too low. In results, one may feel shaky, tired, hungry, confused or nervous. Lastly, there may be complications for Type I diabetes. Since the levels of glucose are high, it can damage organs.