Entries in Nate (1)

Thursday
May102012

Science post!

[guest post from The Husband]

One thing that I've found, since beginning the crash course in diabetication last week, is that many people aren't clear on the difference between the two main diabeteses.

I'm going to go ahead and present my understanding as it stands today- there's going to be gaps in the info, and take everything with a grain of salt because I'm learning all of this as fast as I can.

All types of diabetes involve the body's ability to metabolize sugars. Normally, your pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that stimulates cells to uptake blood glucose and use it for energy. Diabetes interrupts that process and causes elevated blood glucose levels, which put a lot of stress on the body.

Type 1: This is the type that the lovely wife was diagnosed with. Type 1 diabetes is also known as "insulin-dependent diabetes" because people with the condition produce no insulin and are dependent on an outside source. The scientific community is not entirely sure what the cause is, but it is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking the pancreas. There is no known method of either preventing or curing T1D at this point, however, it can be managed through monitoring of blood glucose levels and administration of insulin through injection or other methods.

Type 2: aka insulin-resistant diabetes, is caused by continually elevated blood glucose levels causing the body to become resistant to the insulin it produces. The body still produces insulin, but the metabolic loop begins to break down because as insulin becomes less effective, you crave sugar more because your body feels like its not getting enough energy. In contrast to T1D, T2 is caused primarily by lifestyle choices as well as genetics.

I'm looking forward to continuing to learn about Diabetes- I've always been interested in biology, so learning about the chemical and hormonal pathways involved in diabetes has scratched the biology itch for me. Look forward to more science posts, though I also want to contribute a little about my experience in all this and what I'm going through. If you have anything to clarify, add, or if you'd just like to point out where I go wrong, please say so in the comments.