What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease which is quite simple to define. A person with diabetes has blood sugar levels which are not considered normal.

Almost all of the food that human beings eat is converted to glucose or sugar in the body. This glucose is used to supply energy for the body. The organ which controls the levels of glucose in the body is called the pancreas. When sugar is available for use, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin which allows the sugar to enter cells and perform work.

If the pancreas is unable to secrete enough insulin or is damaged in some way, glucose often will continue to build up in the bloodstream. This is what is commonly called "high blood sugar" or diabetes.

There are several types of diabetes but the disease has a fairly well-defined series of symptoms. These symptoms include extreme thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, changes in vision and very dry skin.

Type II Diabetes is the most common form of this disease. About ninety percent of all cases of this disease are adult onset type cases. Type II Diabetes generally does not require insulin injections or supplements for control of blood sugar levels.

Diet and exercise are commonly recommended for this form of diabetes. The patient is required to monitor his or her blood sugar frequently and adjust food intake to create a level of blood sugar that is normal.

Exercise alone can also lower blood sugar significantly. Some cases of Type II Diabetes do require oral medication or insulin injections.