Diabetes occurs when sugar levels in the blood are too high. When sugar and starches are eaten they are changed, through digestion, to a simple sugar called
. Body cells get their energy from glucose. For glucose to get to the cells,
is required. Insulin is a
produced in an organ called the
. People who have a disease called Type I Diabetes have bodies that are unable to make insulin. If a person has Type II Diabetes, the body has difficulty making and using insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood which, over time, can cause many other parts of the body to work poorly. It can cause blindness, kidney failure and poor circulation.(Lindburg July 2, 2012).
Although some people are more likely than others, because of their genetics, to get Type II Diabetes, this disease can be prevented, in many cases, through healthy habits. Choosing nutritiously balanced foods that are low in sugar and without highly processed food additives such as high fructose corn syrup and transfats is a good start. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep is helpful too. Scientists and doctors have found that keeping the body at a normal weight is the most important factor in preventing this disease.(Colquhoun et al. 2011), (Lindburg July 2, 2012).
A health problem involving the heart is called a
. Two common cardiovascular diseases are usually caused by constriction in the blood vessels by a process called atherosclerosis. When these blockages occur the heart has to work harder to send blood around the body and sometimes blot clots get stuck in these narrow passages causing problems like
A heart attack happens when a clot blocks blood flow in an artery in the heart which causes part of the heart muscle to stop working. A person needs immediate medical assistance during a heart attack to restore blood flow to the damaged region.
A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks circulation to the brain. The brain cells that are blocked from receiving blood can die. This may cause impairments in thinking, sensation or movement.
The heart can also have problems with the valves that regulate blood flow in and out of it. These problems may be due to congenital malformations, childhood disease or infections of the blood. Any problem with the heart can lead to a problem with the body getting nutrients from the blood which can cause more problems. Keeping the heart healthy is important.("Getting Healthy" 2012).
Many people live after experiencing a heart attack or stroke, but they are still in danger of having another if they don't make changes in their eating and exercising habits.
Stress and Disease
Stress is a series of chemical reactions that take place in the glands of the endocrine system, along the nervous system and in the brain. When the body is handling stress well it is useful in helping people to be alert, strong and focused in difficult situations. However, scientists have discovered that too much stress can cause many problems with emotional and bodily functioning.
Many different kinds of events can bring on stress. These are called
. Being in a physically dangerous or frightening situation can be a stressor. Feeling overworked, angry, worried or sad for a long period of time can also be a stressor. The
are stimulated by the
and pituitary to make
and send them into the bloodstream. Adrenaline increases the activity of the heart and lungs and speed up blood pressure and metabolism. This allows more blood to get to the muscles so that they are ready to work hard and fast if necessary. Other parts of the body respond as well. Eyes dilate which helps improve vision and sweating for cooling the body increases. Cortisol releases glucose from the liver to give cells more energy. The body changes in this way to be prepared for what is often called "fight or flight" or the stress response.(Dowshen August 2009).
When working properly, the stress response is helpful in s situations. Unfortunately, stress can cause health problems if the body does not turn off the response and return to normal quickly enough or if the body perceives ordinary events as stressors and over reacts. This can happen during times of long term stress or repeated stress.(Dowshen August 2009).
A common problem caused by long term stress is the weakening of the immune system, which then sets the body up to being vulnerable to many illnesses. Stress overload can be caused by certain life circumstances such as divorce, death of a loved one, being placed into an unknown situation. Stress overload can also occur during ordinary life circumstances such as when a person starts feeling overly worried about school work, or relationships, or when there seems to be too many demands and expectations to live up to.("How Repeated Stress Impairs Memory" March 7, 2012).
When stress is very extreme in situations such as war, famine, disasters, or severe abuse, it can cause a problem called
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD). People suffering from condition are in a constant state of fight or flight. They may behave strongly in ordinary circumstances by overreacting to loud noises or when they are accidently startled. Professional medical and psychological help is needed to help heal this problem.
In most cases stress is a part of everyday, ordinary life. The best way to keep it from getting out of control is to make choices that help the body deal with stress and keep a healthy balance between the stress response and relaxation response. The relaxation response counteracts the stress response. Being able to balance the two is known as stress management skills.