Diabetes is a disease involving the failed production or the failed use of insulin in the body.
Islet cells, or Islets of Langerhans are vascularized clusters of cells within the pancreas which contain the insulin-producing beta cells. Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, comes in different forms and affects all age groups.
You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Insulin is a hormone produced by the islet cells of the pancreas, essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates (sugars), the basic fuel for cells throughout the body. This type of diabetes generally occurs in people under the age of 40 and is most commonly acquired during childhood. It is also referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes and presents as high blood glucose levels despite an initial abundance of the hormone insulin. As a result, useful proteins that the kidney's filtering system usually retains in the blood are lost in urine, resulting in microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria just before end-stage renal disease.


Those with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts (a condition where a film clouds over the eye's clear lens, blocking light). Amongst other precautions, people with diabetes should watch the number of grams of carbohydrate in their meals, because carbohydrates have the most effect on blood sugar levels. Often these drugs are prescribed in combination to achieve maximal effectiveness of blood glucose control. The cells of the body ignore the insulin and do not allow glucose to enter the body's cells.
People with diabetes need to measure and observe their blood glucose levels to effectively control their diabetes.
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and is the number one cause of blindness, chronic renal failure, and non-traumatic lower extremity amputations. This insulin resistance leads to high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, and eventually to beta-cell failure, where the beta-cells of the pancreas are no longer able to release insulin in response to high blood glucose levels. When blood sugar levels are high, insulin needs to be administered externally as a means to compensate and bring glucose levels back to normal.


In 2002, approximately $132 billion was spent on direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the United States. Type 2 diabetes usually appears in those over 40, and is treated by diet alone, or by diet and oral medications. Exercise also lowers body fat and LDL cholesterol, helping to control body weight and risk of heart disease. These figures illustrate the need for better solutions in diabetes treatment and prevention. Currently, a large sector of the medical and research community is devoted to finding those solutions.



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