Diabetes Risks and Prevention
Idania Alcazar, Staff Writer
April 5, 2011
Filed under Green, Health & Science
Diabetes can appear early in life due to genetics, or later in life due to unhealthy eating habits. Being a teen with diabetes is hard because teens already have enough pressure from school, parents, and friends. There are students at Woodside High School with this disease who work hard day after day to survive and live a normal life.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Juvenile Onset Diabetes Mellitus, happens when the pancreas stops making the appropriate amount of insulin needed for the body. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin to survive. Insulin is a naturally-occurring hormone used to remove and use glucose from the blood. Insulin has to be injected into the person everyday because the body does not produce enough to break down glucose in the blood.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes does not need insulin. This is called Insulin resistance and it means that the fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond normally to insulin. The affect of fat, liver, and muscle cells not responding to insulin is that blood sugar is not received by the cells to be stored as energy. When high levels of sugar build up in the blood, this is called hyperglycemia, this a condition in which the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use the insulin to turn glucose into energy.The pancreas receives high levels of sugar to produce insulin, however the insulin is not produced at the rate the body needs it.
Nora Whiting, a senior at Woodside, has been dealing with diabetes since she was two years old. Whiting has type 1 Diabetes and is Insulin Dependent. “I’ve had diabetes for fifteen years already, and I have an insulin pump that is constantly pumping insulin into my body.” Whiting explains that even though diabetes does not stop her from spending quality time with her friends, sometimes if her sugar is not over a hundred she’s not capable of driving. “Sometimes at night I can’t go to sleep. Those are the times I wish I didn’t have diabetes.” Whiting said that even though having diabetes can get annoying, she already has gotten used to it. “Think about the choices you make because right now you don’t have diabetes, but ten years from now when you do have it your going to regret that”, commented Whiting.
Sometimes teens don’t listen or don’t care about their health, and that is a problem because unfortunately diabetes is not a disease that only adults with health issues get, it also hits teens. “At least 4 to 10 of Woodside’s students every year have diabetes”, says Kristin Patane, the school’s nurse. Although not being healthy is not the only reason why teens can get diabetes, living a healthy lifestyle is very important.
“If a student from Woodside has diabetes and eats too much junk food or does not eat at all, his or her sugar might either get to high or low,” shared Patane who every year helps the students with diabetes. She continued to explain, “Another reason why a person’s sugar might get too high or too low is if that person does not inject themselves with the proper amount of insulin.” If Woodside students listen to all of these warnings and take more care of themselves, they will avoid the finger-pricking pain of diabetes and set an example for the next generation. A way of doing that is by having better choices for lunch.
For example instead of choosing the Hot Cheetos choose the apple or the orange. Joining sports is another great way to the meet the standards of staying healthy. In 2011, 18.8 million people were diagnosed with diabetes, let’s try and lessen that number in 2012 by making a calender of what you eat and when you exercise to see how much healthier you can get in a month, then report back comments so everyone can see that being healthy is worth it.
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