Diabetes: How it Works, Why it is Dangerous, and the Financial Costs

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Diabetes: How it Works, Why it is Dangerous, and the Financial Costs
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius

“Diabetes undercuts one of the most basic functions of the body, the ability to break down food into nutrients, including glucose which provides energy. The hormone which manages glucose levels is insulin, secreted from the pancreas. Insulin acts as the key which allows glucose to enter cells, and without that key, glucose is barred from entry, with the cells acting like a lock.

Type 1 diabetes results because the immune system attacks and destroys the part of the pancreas which manufactures insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs because the pancreas constructs too little insulin and the body resists the small amount which it already has.

Low glucose levels are dangerous because the body has no energy to perform tasks (e.g. breathing) but high glucose levels are equally if not more dangerous over time. Diabetes is a silent disease as it can take up to 15 years to develop the first symptoms of hyperglycemia. For most, by the time diabetes is diagnosed, the damage caused has already been implemented, damage which can cause retinopathy and eventually blindness, renal failure, cardiac disease, cerebrovascular accidents, and amputation.

Those with diabetes have a lot of sugar upon and within their skin, which is why fungal infections are common as fungi look for opportunistic areas like this to breed and survive as it is moist, warm, and sweet, all characteristics which fungi require to propagate. Simple infections like tinea pedis, more commonly referred to as “athletes foot“, can lead to infections which result in amputation or death if developed by a person with diabetes. Tinea pedis gains a stronghold by burrowing into the skin and creating cracks within the skin which produce the perfect opportunity for more virulent and dangerous infections to take place.

150 years ago, a physician could go through their entire career and only see diabetes once or twice which is why diabetes was considered a very rare disease process throughout history. Records of diabetes stretch back into ancient history with the first recorded account occurring within an Egyptian papyrus scroll from 1552 B.C. The most common solution during the era were seeds, honey, and yellow ochre clay. It was not until 1921 that insulin was discovered, however”

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