What Does a 4th Grader Know About Diabetes

 

Diabetes is a disease that can effect anyone, and may not be fully reversed today. There are two types of Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Both types of Diabetes can have major impacts to people's lives and one is not worse than the other. However, these two types are different. 

First, we must know that when we eat, our body breaks the food into glucose, or sugar. This causes the pancreas, a gland under the stomach, to produce insulin. Insulin is a ‘key’, allowing the glucose to come through your cells, and be used as energy. If we have Diabetes, this process doesn’t work well. 

Type 1 Diabetes usually starts affecting us when we are a child or teenager, but it may also occur at any age. With Type 1 Diabetes, our immune system damages our pancreas. This means there is no insulin, and the glucose starts to build up in the blood. The effect of the buildup in glucose is that our body cells start to starve from the lack of the glucose energy, because there is no ‘key’ to open the cell door. If Type 1 Diabetes is not treated, it can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and the heart, while possibly leading to coma and death. Today, the way to help treat Type I Diabetes is by taking insulin ejections. However, we don’t always know how much insulin is needed. The amount of insulin is based on many things, such as food, exercise, stress, emotion, and your general health and condition. Too much insulin can cause the body to burn too much glucose, and our blood sugar will drop to a threatening low level, a condition called ‘Hypoglycemia’. Too little insulin can cause the body to continue to suffer from the starvation of energy it needs, and our blood sugar will increase to a threatening high level, a condition called ‘Hyperglycemia’.

Type 2 Diabetes usually starts affecting us when we are 35 years or older, however there are starting to be more younger people getting type two diabetes. With Type 2 Diabetes, we can still produce insulin, but not enough. Also, sometimes when the insulin tries to open the cell door, the ‘key’ won’t work. This is called insulin resistance. Today the treatment is based on diet and exercise. If the blood sugar level are high, oral medications are used to help the insulin work more efficiently. Sometimes, insulin injections are necessary. 

In conclusion, Diabetes is a disease that can affect everyone.  A healthy living can help, and we expect better technology in the future to monitor and cure this disease.

Copyright © Daniel L