Saturday, May 19, 2007
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism—the way our bodies use digested food for energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood. Glucose is the body’s main source of fuel.
After digestion, glucose enters the bloodstream. Then glucose goes to cells throughout the body where it is used for energy. However, a hormone called insulin must be present to allow glucose to enter the cells. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach.
In people who do not have diabetes, the pancreas automatically produces the right amount of insulin to move glucose from blood into the cells. However, diabetes develops when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly, or both. As a result, the amount of glucose in the blood increases while the cells are starved of energy.
Over time, high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to other health problems as well, such as vision loss, kidney failure, and amputations.
Posted By RAJAYE_HIND PRASHER Comments (0) Health