Plainly put, diabetes is a chronic disease that results in high blood glucose (or high blood sugar).
Less plainly put, diabetes (or medically, diabetes mellitus) is actually a group of chronic diseases that result in high blood glucose, because a person’s body either does not produce insulin at all, or it cannot use insulin efficiently.
So, what’s the big deal? Why is it so important for my body to be able to make or use insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas (that organ that is near your stomach, that people make jokes about sometimes—“Ouch, my pancreas hurts!”). Insulin helps glucose from the food you eat get into your body’s cells so the cells can use the glucose for energy. Thus, when your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, or when your body can’t use insulin efficiently, glucose can’t get into the cells and be used up as energy, and the result is too much glucose running around in your blood stream! Too much glucose running around in your blood stream can result in all kinds of nasty things, which I will tell you all about in my next post!
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Also, don't forget that November 14th, is World Diabetes Day! Spread the news to your friends & family, wear BLUE that day, and put a logo or banner up on your blog or web-site!
NEXT UP: Why is diabetes so bad? How does it make people sick?