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What is diabetes?  Can I catch it?  Am I type 1 or type 2 ?

Okay!... I think that almost all of us have all heard of diabetes (being on a diabetes website)... but what exactly IS diabetes and what of types 1 & 2 diabetes? Why are there different types of diabetes, such as the one in pregnancy? Most importantly, will you end up with either of these types of diabetes yourself?
 
What exactly is diabetes, how does it happen and can I catch it?
Here is a short rundown to help you to understand diabetes.

Our body cells need nutrients to survive.  These nutrients come in the following form

  • Proteins - which are essential for growth and repair of muscle and other body tissue.

  • Fats - these are one source of energy and important in relation to fat soluble vitamins

  • Carbohydrates - this is our main source of energy

  • Minerals - these are inorganic elements occurring in the body and which are critical to its normal functions

  • Vitamins - are water and fat soluble vitamins that play important roles in many chemical processes within our bodies

  • Water - this is essential to normal body function - as a vehicle for carrying other nutrients and because 60% of the human body is water

  • Roughage - this is the fibrous indigestible portion of our diet and is essential to the health of the digestive system

Diabetes overview

 

How It All Works - What are the symptoms of diabetes?

 

When you eat Carbohydrates such as Potatoes, Bread, Rice, Fruits and sugars, the food is first digested in the stomach and is then converted into a type of sugar called glucose.  We need this glucose to give us valuable energy to keep our body going throughout a busy day.

Glucose filters into our bloodstream and our body recognises that our glucose levels are rising.  A small gland which sits just underneath the stomach called the Pancreas starts to release a natural hormone called Insulin, which help us to extract the energy from this food.

Both the glucose and the insulin are sent to through the bloodstream to every cell that needs it, such as our muscles.  The insulin allows glucose to be accepted into the tissue. Insulin will only allow the right amount of glucose to enter and the glucose levels will reduce as we use energy.  The liver has a store of glucose, which may be released when needed and the process starts from the pancreas again.

The body naturally works with this and ensures that the glucose and insulin stay at an optimum levels, making sure that the Food, the pancreas and the liver work in harmony.

However...  this system does not work in the correct way with some people, who are 'The diabetics'.

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