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~ Why Me? ~


~ Diabetes ~

Why Me?

No one really knows for sure, the thing is, the pancreas stops working properly, The pancreas is part of the endoctrine system & has about 4 different functions. Anything can upset the balance. Here are a few things that can make it not work properly:

Genetic defects of Beta cell function
Malfunction because of inherited code in genes
Disease of the pancreas
Drugs or Chemicals
Genetic defects in insulin action
Other disease of the endoctrine system

There is research with transplants, pancreas, stem cells, beta cells, but with the pancreas, it also has different functions and unless you are totally out of control, these procedures are still in the test phase.


Genetic defects of Beta cell function
Beta cells in the pancreas are responsible for the production of insulin. If these cells are malfunctioning because of an inherited code in your genes, diabetes may develop.
Disease of the pancreas
Any organ in the body, including the pancreas, can develop a disease, or stop functioning normally.
An infection may attack the cells of the pancreas or create a stress in the body, which increases the need for insulin.
Drugs or chemicals
Some medications used to treat other diseases, may interfere with insulin action, or contribute to the onset of diabetes, in susceptible individuals.
Genetic defects in insulin action
We can inherit the inability to use our insulin effectively. This may be associated with other health problems.
Other endocrine diseases
The pancreas is part of a system in the body known as the endocrine system. All of the organs and glands in the system produce secretions. These secretions are linked together chemically, and an imbalance in one, can lead to changes in the rate of secretion of the others. Therefore, if another part of the endocrine system is malfunctioning , the pancreas, and/or insulin production and utilization can be affected, resulting in the development of diabetes. The thyroid and pituitary gland are also part of the endocrine system, any problems with these can cause diabetes.
Immune mediated disorders
Your body may develop a blocking agent (antibody), that prevents your cells from utilizing insulin. This defect occurs at a doorway on the cell wall, called a receptor. Attachment to a receptor allows insulin to unlock the cell door, so glucose can enter the cell for energy. When an antibody forms, it prevents the receptor from opening the door.
Other genetic syndromes
People with Down's Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, Huntington's Chorea and other genetic disorders are more likely to develop diabetes.
Diabetes types used to be referred to as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) and Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM), but the terms were confusing because many people with Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes ended up needing insulin for control of blood glucose.
When the sugar levels in the blood begin to climb above the normal range, at a specific point, dependent upon kidney function and other factors, the kidney will play a role in the elimination of excess sugar. On average, the level at which glucose appears in the urine. This spill point or "renal threshold" rises with age, and many elderly adults do not spill sugar in their urine despite much higher blood glucose levels. Age, disease, infection, illness and other factors can also lower or raise the renal threshold.
As sugars appear in the urine, the risk of infection in the urinary tract increases, because bacteria will use the sugar as food, and multiply.
Patients with diabetes used to monitor diabetes control by measuring urine sugar. It was very inaccurate, and we could not achieve the level of control achieved today using blood glucose testing at home. When home blood sugar testing devices were first introduced, they weighed 5-6 lb (3 kg) and cost about $500.00. Insurance companies did not cover the cost, and many people could not afford the new technology.
Changes in the function of both blood vessels and nerves in the body can occur over a number of years with elevated blood sugar. Two studies in the past decade have shown, in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, that keeping blood glucose levels close to normal, can significantly reduce these long term health effects. This is the purpose of your own and your doctors' effort to regulate blood sugars using meal planning, activity, pills and/or insulin as indicated by the health care team. [United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), and the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)]
Diabetes that is out of control can affect the small blood vessels known as capillaries and venules, over time. Decreased circulation can affect healing of wounds, can cause hemorrhages which affect vision, and cause limbs to feel cold, especially the extremities, like fingers and toes.
Diabetes that is out of control can affect larger blood vessels, over time, and in combination with high blood pressure, can contribute to early stroke and heart attack.
Diabetes that is out of control can make nerve tissues more irritiable, over time, causing pins and needles, burning sensations, tingling, and numbness of the hands and feet. Some of the nerves in the body have a more "automatic" function, like those in our digestive sytem and those that regulate our heart beat. These nerves too, can be affected by diabetes out of control, over time.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, Type 2, having these long term health effects thoroughly evaluated is a good idea. You may have had your diabetes for several years without knowing it was there.
In particular, many physicians will recommend that your urine is screened for the excretion of Microalbumin, a small form of protein that the kidney does not usually release. In addition, the doctor may recommend that you have your eyes examined for any changes in the small blood vessels that nourish the tissues of the eye. Changes in these areas may indicate your diabetes has been present for 5 years or more. Achieving excellent blood glucose control now, will usually slow down these changes, and if they are caught early in their onset, the changes may even be reversible.
If you develop Type 1 diabetes, these long term effects may not be evaluated right away. The changes generally begin to surface, 5 years or more after diagnosis. Your doctor will determine, at what point after you are diagnosed, that these long term effects will be monitored.
The best way is education, having yearly check-ups, doctor and eye care, keeping in contact with nurses and dietitians to manage care of diabetes, and don't forget home glucose monitoring, diet and exercise.

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