The actual cause of diabetes is a mystery and both genetics and environmental factors, such as obesity and lack of exercise, appear to play major roles.
It has been found that there are two types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce any insulin. It mostly affects children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. The treatment for this type of diabetes, is a daily insulin injection which must be taken to keep you alive.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough of or use insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It accounts for about 90-95% of diabetes and therefor is reaching a point of emergency. .
Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert starches, sugar and other foods into energy. Insulin takes the sugar, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, from the blood stream and into the cells. When the sugar doesn't absorb intot he cells, is builds up in the blood which causes two problems:.
Over some time, the high blood sugar levels may start to hurt your eyes, nerves, kidneys or the heart.
Or right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
What produces insulin is the pancreas. The pancreas contains cells called beta cells which make the insulin which of course takes in sugar into the cells. Beta cells can sometimes get completely wiped out and this can be caused by Type 1 diabetes as well as numerous other ways. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system can make a mistake and the cells that normally protect you from germs, start attacking your beta cells. Sugar starts to build up in the blood because there are no more beta cells to produce insulin, and you get diabetes.
High blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of symptoms. In the short term, blurred vision can occur and serious consequences such as heart attack. In the long term, strokes, permanent damage to the eyes, nerves and blood vessels.