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Insulin-Dependent Diabetes - My Life Story
There are two main kinds of diabetes. I have insulin-dependent diabetes.
It is also called Type I diabetes. It used to be called juvenile diabetes
(even though adults get it too).
I did not catch diabetes from someone else. Instead, insulin-dependent
diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ near
your stomach. The pancreas contains cells called beta cells. Beta cells
have a vital job: they make insulin, a hormone that helps cells take in the glucose they need.
Sometimes, the beta cells get wiped out and cannot produce insulin anymore.
Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood instead of going into cells.
Many things might have killed my beta cells, but in most people with
insulin-dependent diabetes, the immune system makes a mistake. Cells that
should protect me from germs instead attack my beta cells. The beta
cells die. Without beta cells, I cannot make insulin. Glucose built up in
my blood, and I got diabetes.
I have had diabetes since I was 22 months old. I take three shots of insulin
a day and test my blood three times daily also. I will have to live with
this condition until a cure is found. Please, educate yourself about
diabetes and how it effects a person, like me. Together, we can make a
difference in the lives of many people.
Over 16 Million Americans have diabetes, but 5.4 Million remain undiagnosed. Diabetes Awareness
Month, which is November, was created as an effort to educate the public about this disease and
to inform those with diabetes about the resources available to them.
Type II diabetes is a disease that results when the body's cells become resistant to insulin.
In Type II diabetes, unlike in Type I, insulin is still produced by the body; it just isn't used correctly.
Both diseases result in abnormally high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), which can cause kidney,
eye, heart, blood vessel, and other diseases.
Symptoms of diabetes include lethargy, extreme thirst and urination, extreme hunger accompanied by
rapid loss of weight, and blurry vision. These are all results of the body's inability to transport sugar
(energy) from the bloodstream to the body cells. While it was previously assumed that having
diabetes was a clear-cut ticket to further disease and complications, it has been shown that good
control (keeping blood sugars within recommended levels) through combinations of insulin therapy,
diet, exercise, and other medications can help delay the onset of complications.
We need to make the American people aware of diabetes. Diabetes affects
many Americans, especially the elderly and children. We must find a cure.
Help thousands of other Americans in the race for cure.
To find our more about diabetes, research, and information on how to help
fine a cure, visit the American Diabetes Association at
American Diabetes Association or the
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Marilyn's Diabetes Page - Check it out. She's a kool girl!