What is Diabetes? (Part 1 of 2) | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 20.07.2012

Thanks for choosing HealthiNation, I'm Pat Murphy.
We all know maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important.
It's about getting the right exercise, enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet.
For most people that's hard enough. But what happens when the food we eat doesn't fuel
our body the way it should? For the more than 18 million Americans with Diabetes, that's
a problem they deal with every day.
Let’s answer the question: what is diabetes? Dr. Keri Peterson has the answer for us.
Diabetes prevents the body from processing food into the fuel we need to function every
day. It can occur in just about anyone, but family history, body weight and age can play
a role.
There are 2 major types of diabetes. Type One used to be called "juvenile diabetes"
and it affects about two million Americans. It can show up at any time, but it mostly
appears in children, adolescents and young adults.
Type Two diabetes makes up the vast majority of cases - about 18 million Americans and
this type is on the rise, and is rapidly becoming an epidemic. The main reason for this is because
of the increase in overweight children and obese adults.
Type Two Diabetes used to affect adults almost exclusively. But now we are seeing it more
often in younger people... again because of this rise in childhood obesity.
Now let's go inside the body to explain how diabetes works.
First, the food we eat is broken down into different nutrients, including a sugar called
glucose, which is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose is carried in the bloodstream
to all the cells so that it can nourish them.
But, glucose can not pass into cells without the help of a hormone called insulin. Insulin
acts as a key that fits into a lock on a cells outer wall that opens the cell and allows
glucose to enter.
Insulin is created in the pancreas, which is a gland located behind the stomach. The
liver also plays a big role, by removing excess glucose from the bloodstream and storing it
for later use.
For Type One diabetics, their bodies don't create any or, at least, not enough insulin
to regulate sugars. This is why diabetics can develop extremely high levels of glucose
in the blood.
For many Type Two diabetics, the disease begins in adulthood when their cells develop a resistance
to insulin. In other words, the key does not work properly in the lock so sugar doesn’t
get into the cell. Typically this resistance triggers the pancreas to create more insulin
to handle the rise in blood sugar but over time in some people, the pancreas tires out
and slows the production of insulin or even stops producing it all together.
The primary symptoms for both types of diabetes are thirst and frequent urination.
Essentially, the body needs water to filter excess glucose from the blood.
Other symptoms of diabetes include weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue. Sometimes
these warning signs become apparent after a flu like illness.
There are great treatments for diabetes, and it's best if you catch the early warning signs.
If left untreated, diabetes could cause a number of MAJOR problems, including kidney
damage, which can lead to dialysis, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, amputations,
blindness, coma and even death.
If you or your child has these symptoms, make sure you talk to your doctor.