What exactly is diabetes, and how do you get it?

Generally speaking, diabetes is defined as a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. This basically results in carbohydrates not really being metabolized correctly, which ultimately results in elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. An easy way to think about it is to just imagine that you have more sugar in your blood than what you really need.

The overwhelming majority of people who develop diabetes end up getting this disease because they're not eating the right kind of food, and are not getting enough exercise. From a medical standpoint, the actual cause of diabetes stems from the pancreas, which is an organ inside your body. The pancreas has a lot of different jobs, but one of its jobs is to regulate your blood glucose by allowing many of your body's cells to absorb and use glucose. When your cells can absorb and use glucose, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream drops. This happens when your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.

However, people with diabetes generally don't have enough insulin. As a result, they end up with high levels of glucose in their bloodstream.

There are basically two types of diabetes, and they're literally referred to as "type I diabetes," and "type II diabetes."

More often than not, someone who has "type 1 diabetes," is born with it. It's a situation wherein your body doesn't produce any insulin to handle the glucose in your body. Insulin deficiency causes a range of complications, so people with "type 1 diabetes" have to take insulin to help their body use glucose appropriately.

People who have "type 2 diabetes" may be able to produce their own insulin, but their bodies do not use it correctly. People in this situation might also be unable to produce enough insulin to handle the glucose in their body. Lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, play a major role in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes.

There's a reasonable chance that if you're reading this, you're concerned that you or someone you know may have diabetes. The only way to know for sure is through a simple blood test. Don't worry, most people who are diagnosed with type II diabetes can reverse it within 30 days -- assuming they don't get put on the "big pharmaceutical" treadmill of endless pills and doctor visits.


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