Type II Diabetes





Rebecca Greenberg
Final Paper
Type II diabetes-

Many Americans die from it every day, but people still scratch their heads when asked about it. What exactly is diabetes, how serious is it, what are its effects and symptoms, but most importantly how do we control it. Diabetes if the fourth leading cause of death by disease in the United States. Diabetes mellitus prevents the body’s cells from using food properly. Humans are equipped with the ability to change what they eat into sugar. The more common name for that sugar is glucose. Glucose gives us energy and growth. Instead of using this essential sugar, a person with diabetes passes it out of the body in their urine. The words, diabetes mellitus, have roots from other languages. The word diabetes comes from the Greek word meaning “to cross over or pass through.” Mellitus comes from the Latin word meaning “honey”.
There are two kinds of diabetes mellitus: Type Type II and I. Type I diabetes is also called insulin - dependent diabetes. It usually occurs in children or young adults. Type I is the form of diabetes caused by the insufficient production of insulin. In the past, this malformation was known as juvenile diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes. Most people with Type I aren’t diagnosed when they are children or young adults. Diabetes can occur at any and all ages, so, the term juvenile diabetes isn’t really correct.
Type II diabetes occurs for more frequently than Type I. It generally affects people who are 40 and older. Another name is adult-onset diabetes. Unlike Type I patients, most people with Type II don’t have to take insulin injections daily to control the disease. However, a majority of Type 2 diabetics do have to take medication such as Glucophage to control their insulin from going to low or too high. What Type II people suffer from is an inability to use insulin effectively.
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone. Hormones are chemicals that bring messages throughout the body. Messages are like commands. They tell the body what to do. Humans produce many hormones.
The organ that produces insulin is the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, funny shaped organ that lies just behind the stomach. The function of insulin is to let our bodies use what we consume. Without insulin we would die. Insulin is like a key, while body cells are like a lock. Insulin allows letting the body cells take in sugar. Lack of insulin means the sugar will build up in a person’s blood stream of entering the cells. When this happens essential body organs do not get fed such as the heart, and the brain. Too much sugar in the blood is dangerous.
More than 13 million Americans have Type II diabetes. What is so stunning is about half of this number don’t know they have the disease.
Doctors are still trying to find out what causes Type II diabetes. Scientists have come to the conclusion that it isn’t an autoimmune disease, but they haven\'t linked it to any one virus. The immune system is supposed to attack harmful germs in the body. When someone has an autoimmune disease, the signals get mixed up.
Through scientific research the disease diabetes has been linked back to thousands of years ago. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks could tell that people had diabetes because they were thirsty and had to urinate frequently. A writer of the time described the disease as “ a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine.” Others found out that the urine of diabetes tasted sugary. (Taylor)
Those with Type II often died of the problems it caused. When it was observed that diabetes was linked to a person’s use of food, doctors concluded that certain diets would help out.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, diabetes practiced fad diets composed of oat cure, the milk diet, and the rice cure and potato therapy. It would sound outrageous today, but a successful practice in prolonging a patients life was the “ starvation diet “ believe it or not.
We now know that diabetes starts in our pancreas, but that wasn’t the case about 130 years ago. In 1569, Paul Langerhans, a German medical student, made microscopic observations