To The Editor:
Diabetes is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Diabetes is the single most chronic disease and costs our nation $174 billion annually. There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which a persons pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the bodys immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. There is nothing that can be done to prevent Type 1, and at present, nothing can be done to get rid of it. It usually strikes in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood and lasts a lifetime. Just to survive, people with Type 1 must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continually infuse it through a pump.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a persons body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively. Type 2 is the most common form, and is usually diagnosed in adulthood. It can be treated with tablets, exercise and a special diet, but sometimes insulin injections are also required.
Taking insulin does not cure any type of diabetes, nor does it prevent the possibility of the diseases devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, stroke and pregnancy complications.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes (8.3 percent of the population) and of these, as many as 3 million may have Type 1. Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults, approximately 80 people per day, are diagnosed with Type 1.
Living with Type 1 diabetes is a constant challenge. It is a 24-7-365 job. People living with Type 1 must carefully balance insulin doses with eating and physical activity throughout the day and night. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with Type 1 still run the risk of dangerous high or low blood sugars, both of which can be life-threatening. Although Type 1 is a serious and difficult disease, treatment options are improving all the time and people with the disease can lead full and active lives.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the largest charitable supporter of Type 1 diabetes research. Since its founding in 1970 by passionate volunteers, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to Type 1 diabetes research. JDRFs research goals are: 1. Cure by restoring a persons insulin-producing capability or reversing the bodys misguided immune attack on the pancreas; 2. Treat by developing new devices and therapies that optimize blood sugar control and treat or prevent the complications; and 3. Prevent by preventing Type 1 diabetes from occurring or stopping the disease process before it damages the pancreas. JDRF will not rest until Type 1 diabetes is fully conquered.
Please help us in our efforts to raise funds for JDRF by supporting the benefit chicken barbecue at The Place, Ogdensburg, June 2 from noon to 7 p.m. or sold out. The price is $8 for a half chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans and a roll. Raffles, a Chinese auction and a silent auction will also be held. More details will be provided at a later date.