Diabetes – also known as “消渴” (Xiao Ke)

Diabetes occurs for several reasons, but the ultimate cause of high blood sugar that characterises the disorder is either due to deficiency of the hormone insulin or a combination of insulin deficiency and resistance of the body tissues to its actions. In response to food intake, insulin is released by specialised cells in the pancreas and is necessary for adequate amounts of glucose and other nutrients from food to be absorbed into certain tissues of the body. When insulin is lacking or the body resists its actions, the level of glucose in the blood becomes excessively high and diabetes is thus diagnosed. There are two major forms of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Whatever the form, its basis is to some extent hereditary and some extent environmental.

 

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is mostly due to an almost complete deficiency of insulin, resulting from immune system erroneously attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It is often hereditary and can occur at any age, but most often diagnosed in juveniles.
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