What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a biochemical disorder which affects the body's ability to use carbohydrates, sugars and starches. People with diabetes are not able to produce sufficient insulin or are unable to use the insulin they produce effectively enough to break down glucose or sugar in the blood and make it available to the body. More than 16 million Americans alone suffer from diabetes.
The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes most commonly surfaces in childhood and is usually associated with the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. People with Type 1 Diabetes are also called Insulin-Dependent because they have to take insulin for life. Type 2 Diabetes is often called Adult Onset Diabetes and usually occurs after the age of 40. People with Type 2 Diabetes do produce insulin in the pancreas, but their body cells have become resistant to it. There is however an alarming increase in the number of young adults and even children who are developing Type 2 Diabetes and this is closely linked to unhealthy life style habits and increasing rates of obesity in the younger age groups.
Although people with controlled diabetes lead a normal healthy life, uncontrolled diabetes means chronically elevated blood sugar levels which slowly destroy proteins in the body, causing considerable damage to tissues and organs. Complications from untreated or poorly controlled diabetes include kidney damage, heart disease, nerve damage, and even blindness.