Diabetes in Students

Daniel Fendel, Reporter

What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. There are two different kinds of diabetes: type one and type two.

“There are two types of diabetes- one is insulin dependent and one is not. It’s where a person’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin for the amount of sugar that their body is consuming,” said Michelle Wood, the PHS Nurse.

Type one diabetes happens when a person’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas called beta cells. The Beta cells make insulin, so their destruction means that the body has lost all ways to create insulin. People with type one diabetes must both test their blood before every meal and take insulin after every meal for the rest of their lives.

Type two diabetes develops when the body doesn’t use insulin properly. In a process called insulin resistance, the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for its misuse. Eventually, this process becomes less effective as the pancreas struggles more and more to keep up with the glucose levels in the bloodstream. In some cases, type two diabetes is reversible.

As of now, there are around 371 million people worldwide who have diabetes, but 187 million of them aren’t diagnosed. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the world, causing 1.5 million deaths in 2015 according to CBS News.

Diabetic  people can live long and healthy lives if they eat healthily and do what their doctors tell them to. If the person diagnosed doesn’t take care of him or herself, he or she can become very sick, though older patients can be harmed in a much more traumatic way.

“An elderly with diabetes who doesn’t take care of his or her Diabetes can have a big dip in health if they don’t take the insulin they need. If they don’t, their body will not be able to recover from injuries, and they can end up with limbs being amputated or can get very sick,” said Wood.

A person with diabetes can be as healthy as anyone else and is perfectly normal. The person just has to get his or her blood tested before each meal and take insulin after each meal.