Taking diabetes to the classroom

By Grace King, Layout Editor

Type 1 diabetes is a non-preventable autoimmune disease that stops the pancreas from producing insulin, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). It is caused by the body’s immune system attacking and destroying insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that moves sugar into the cells of your body to use as fuel to make energy, according to medicalnewstoday.com.

Approximately three million Americans are living with Type 1 diabetes, according to JDRF statistics. It is triggered by genetic and environmental factors. The onset of Type 1 diabetes “has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle,” it is not preventable and cannot be reversed, according to JDRF.

To treat Type 1 diabetes, diabetics have to check their blood sugar regularly so they can stop it from going too low or too high. If your blood sugar is too low, it can cause fainting, seizures, or you can go into a coma. High blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, kidney damage or failure, cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and foot problems.

Type 2 diabetes is unlike Type 1 diabetes because it is typically adult onset and linked with obesity and not enough exercise, according to “A First Book for Understanding Diabetes” by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with proper diet and exercise. In extreme cases, a person living with Type 2 diabetes will need to take insulin injections.

Insulin is not a cure for diabetes. JDRF said that insulin injections keep the person with Type 1 diabetes alive, but it does not necessarily prevent the possibility of diabetes serious effects. Type 1 diabetics are insulin-dependent for life.

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