Diabetes is a very well-known disease that a lot of people have. You probably have a friend, or at least know somebody with the disease. An estimated 17 million people in the United States, which is also 6.2 percent of the entire population has diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a serious life-long condition. Also an estimated 5.9 million people have not been diagnosed at this time. Every year, approximately 1 million people over the age of 20 are diagnosed with diabetes. .
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism and metabolism is the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. A large percentage of the food we eat is broken down into what we call glucose. Glucose is the sugar that's in our blood and is the main source of fuel that our body runs off of. .
When we eat food, our pancreas is automatically supposed to make the right amount of insulin so that the glucose can move from our blood, into our different cells. When you have diabetes, the pancreas produces very low, or possibly even no insulin at all, or also, the cells do not respond to the insulin that is being produced. Glucose builds up in our blood, then overflows into our urine, and leaves out of the body through our urine. However, our body loses its main source of fuel even though our body still has huge amounts of glucose. .
There are three main types of diabetes. They are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease happens or results when the body's system for fighting infections and illnesses (a.k.a. the immune system) turns against other different parts of the body. When you have diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells around the pancreas region, and destroys them. When a person has type 1 diabetes, they have to take insulin everyday in order to live. Type one diabetes is found in about 5-10% of the population with diabetes in the U.