Diabetes: Take Control

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Diabetes runs in my family. My grandmother and grandfather, my dad’s parents have diabetes, so does my dad and a couple of my aunts and uncles. My dad always tells me to watch out for the amount of sugar that I consume, and the foods that I eat. I never really paid much attention to it, did not even know what diabetes is. As the years pass by my dad keeps telling me the same thing over and over again. Until one day he told me that maybe in the future I can be diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes never occurred to me. I never imagined myself with diabetes, who does anyways? Even though my dad mentioned it to me many times throughout the years, it never came to my mind that this disease will threaten my health one day. But to have diabetes, now that is a different story. I want to inform myself about diabetes, I want to know everything about it. What is diabetes? Is there just one type or many? Can I do something to prevent it? Am I going to die from it? Is there a cure? All I know is that diabetes is a disease, where there is too much sugar or glucose in your body. Like I said before diabetes runs in my family, the one that who suffers the most from it is my grandmother. She is always watching what she eats. She checks her blood more than four times a day by poking a small needle to her finger to get a pinch of blood. She also injects insulin when she needs it. Even though it looks painful to me, because needles terrorize me. My grandmother always tells me that it does not hurt, that it is just a little pinch. Other than sticking needles to her body, her feet are another big concern. Her feet ache and she also takes care of them because she has these gashes on them that cannot heal. When I see her, she looks like she is in a lot of pain. Sometimes she can hardly walk because the pain is too intense that her feet cannot support her body. This gets me thinking a lot about myself, because I have a lot of ankle problems. When I walk a lot my ankles, feet and shins ache a lot. The pain sometimes is to extreme that it hurts when I put pressure on it. I do not know the reason why this happens, but maybe this can be a sign of diabetes. What is diabetes? I ask myself sometimes. Is it just a sugar problem or is it more than that? As I search the web I come across some interesting websites. One website gave me everything I need to know about the disease. This website is Medical News Today and I found out that, diabetes or other known as ‘Diabetes Mellitus’ is a metabolism disorder. It refers to the way that our bodies digest food for energy and growth. Most of the foods that we eat are broken down into glucose, “glucose is a form of sugar in the body – it is the principle source of fuel for our bodies” (MNT). When food is digested the glucose makes its way to the bloodstream. Cells in the body use the glucose for energy and growth. In order for our cells to take in the glucose insulin needs to be present. This little key is insulin, “insulin is a hormone. It makes our body cells absorb glucose from the blood” (MNT). I did not know that insulin is a hormone. I always just thought it was a medicine that diabetics inject themselves to help regulate their sugar in their bodies. Other then the Internet I also read the book Diabetes for Dummies written by Alan L. Rubin. He says that insulin is produced in the pancreas, which is an organ that is part of our digestive system, and it has two major functions. The first one is that the pancreas produces digestive juices. The second function is that the pancreas produces insulin and other digestive hormones. The insulin is the one that controls the amount of glucose in your body. Without insulin, you will not survive for long. This is how I understand how it works. Insulin works like a key. Insulin attaches to the cell, which opens a pathway for the glucose to go into the cell. If your body does not have insulin to open that pathway, then you are going to have too much glucose in...