Diabetes: What is it, What Causes it, and Who is at Risk
Diabetes is a disease wherein the body has trouble regulating the level of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which works to transport glucose molecules across cell membranes and into cells for energy production.
And of course, without energy sources, the body’s cells (which are responsible for every functional mechanism of life) will be unable to carry out the requisite pathways needed to survive.
In the case of Type 1 diabetics (who only make up about 5% of the diabetic population), the body is no longer able to produce insulin, which is the keystone hormone needed to transfer glucose molecules from the bloodstream into cells. This is generally due to an autoimmune attack on the pancreas – the organ responsible for the production of insulin.
Type 1 diabetes usually arises in children or young adults who contract a pancreas-attacking virus, and other than perhaps a genetic predisposition, there are not many specific risk factors.
Type 2 diabetes is a rather more complex form of the disease wherein the body still produces insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough of it, or the cells become resistant to its physiological pathways. Either way, the resulting effect is similar to that of Type 1 diabetes, wherein the underlying issue is a general inability to control blood glucose levels.
Also, Type 2 diabetes is a far more prevalent form of the disease; it is estimated to affect over 400 million people worldwide, or between 90 and 95% of the total diabetic population.
Additionally, far more risk factors are associated with Type 2 diabetes than there are with Type 1. Several of the most prominent of these factors include: weight (obesity); a high sugar diet combined with inactivity; family history/genetics; ethnicity (African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are especially susceptible, though the reason is unknown); and age (people over 45 are far more likely to develop the disease).
Conventional Non CBD Treatment Methods
In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, an inability for glucose to be absorbed into the body’s cells results in it building up to dangerously high levels in the bloodstream. This results in the severe, potentially life-threatening symptoms that are most often associated with the disease. Some of these symptoms include:
In short, there aren’t many areas of the body that go unaffected by the physiological detriments of diabetes, and unless the disease is monitored closely on a daily basis, the average diabetic will have a lifespan between 10 and 15 years shorter than the average person’s.
Fortunately, conventional medications have gotten to the point where diabetics – if they keep track of their glucose levels rigorously and maintain an appropriate diet – can lead a rather normal lifestyle.
Since they can’t produce it on their own, most Type 1 diabetics will be prescribed insulin either in the form of shots that they have to self-administer, or in the form of a pump which automatically monitors blood glucose levels and injects the hormone as needed.
While these forms of treatment are state of the art, they’re by no means 100% effective; even the most responsible of diabetics can find it difficult to avoid the dangerous consequences of irregular glucose levels.
And not to mention, without top of the line health insurance, treatments like insulin pumps are far too expensive for the average individual to consider; most, in fact, are resorted to pricking blood from their finger to monitor sugar levels, and self-administering insulin shots through hypodermic needles.
In the case of Type 2 diabetes, individuals who are able to get by without having to take insulin shots will most likely be prescribed a pharmaceutical drug like Metformin or Avandia, which aid in the ability to properly regulate glucose.
However, as is far too common with these kinds of prescription medications, a range of severe side effects is often produced, as is a monthly medical bill that can seemingly be as cumbersome as the side effects themselves.
This is why thousands of diabetics in recent years have been more than willing to try alternative treatment options like CBD oil. Even if it can replace one of their prescription medications, it’s generally more than worth it.
Not to mention, the general improvement in quality of life for diabetics that have added CBD to their treatment regimen has been consistent nearly across the board.