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Diabetes Diabetes is a very serious disease that attacks millions of people around the world. It can strike at any age and can happen to anyone. Although we are not exactly sure about the causes of diabetes, we believe that it has to do with the body's own immune system attacking and destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the glucose that we need to live, has a hard time entering the cells of the body that need it. If too much glucose builds up in the blood, then a diabetic may begin to have headaches or blurry vision. They may become very thirsty and have dry, itchy skin. If glucose levels go too low, then a diabetic may feel shaky, tired, hungry, confused, or nervous. There are two types of diabetes. They are called Type 1 and Type 2 Some symptoms of diabetes include: excessive thirst; constant hunger; sudden weight loss for no reason; rapid, hard breathing; sudden vision changes or blurry vision; and drowsiness or exhaustion. These symptoms can occur at any time. Type 1 diabetes is more common in Americans then Type 2. It has affected over 1 million Americans with 30,000 more people diagnosed every year (13,000 of those being children). Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but is most commonly diagnosed during childhood. In Type 1 diabetes, a person's pancreas produces little or no insulin, and because insulin is necessary for life, people with Type 1 diabetes must take several insulin injection shots each day for the rest of their lives. Although insulin allows a person to stay alive, it does not cure diabetes or prevent it's complications. The blood sugar level of the diabetic must be tested several times daily. One this is done by pricking the finger with a special needle and placing the blood into a machine that will carefully read it. This helps balance the glucose in the blood and will help determine how much insulin is needed. Diabetics need to pay careful attention to their diets, exercise, and blood sugar levels in order to stay healthy. Other factors that can affect the blood sugar levels are stressed, periods of growth, dollars for infection, and fatigue as well as their exercise and any changes in their normal schedule. Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes or, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is different than Type 1 diabetes in one major way. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does make insulin, we so it is not needed to be taken separately, but sometimes, not enough insulin is made or the cells ignore the insulin. Because of the sudden rise or fall in blood sugar levels, people with this type of diabetes must also test their blood several times daily and adjust their diets and exercise accordingly. Insulin boosting pills help this type of diabetic maintain consistent blood sugar levels. With good treatment though, insulin levels can return to normal. This, however, does not mean that you are cured. You will always have diabetes, but normal levels shows that you are taking care of yourself. A good diet, exercise, and weight loss can help improve the body's use of insulin. A good diet should include low-fat foods, moderate amounts of protein, and lots of foods high in complex carbohydrates, like beans, vegetables, and grains. Exercise helps the body take in glucose. Exercise also lowers glucose levels and plays a major part in treatment. Losing weight is also a major part in treatment. It can also help the body to use insulin more efficiently. The best way to lose weight is to maintain a good exercise program and a healthy eating plan. If a healthy diet is not kept up, then life-threatening complications may arise. These life-threatening complications include: blindness; heart attack; kidney failure; stroke; nerve damage; and amputation. People with diabetes can live a normal, regular life by keeping track of their blood sugar levels. The average life span of a diabetic is 15 years less than people that are not diabetic. This does not mean that they cannot live a normal life. If a diabetic takes care of themself by exercising and eating right, then their life can be just as happy as anyone elses. Word Count: 707
 
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