Diabetes- A Primer

Today I was thinking to myself: Wow, I don't know much about diabetes. Full disclosure: the first time I heard about "diabetes" I thought someone said "dying Beattys" and I was struck with worry for silver screen leading man Warren.

I soon realized my mistake, and being the scrutinizing, intrepid collector of information I am, I set out to learn a little bit more about this strange, mysterious disease. I checked out Wikipedia (the fountain of knowledge) and learned a thing or two (interactive educational link).

According to the internet, diabetes s a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Here is a chart/graph that details it in more science-y terms/childrens' book illustrations.

I didn't understand a word of that chart. Instead, I decided to make a few generalizations and assumptions.

I learned that if you have diabetes, you can't eat a lot of candy. In fact, if you eat too much candy and you're a diabetic, you can fall very ill. Thus, to the diabetic, the two below images are very similar in scope and severity.


I also learned that if you have diabetes your body cannot produce its own insulin. Therefore, you must receive regular injections of insulin. I'm not sure where this "outsourced" insulin comes from. Do you think they take it from cows?

Anyway, once you get the insulin, you have to inject it into yourself with a needle. If you had diabetes and did not care for needles you would be in pretty sorry shape. The injection of insulin is a fairly straightforward process which the diabetic must engage in rather often if they hope to live.


This fellow seems very adept at injecting himself. I'm glad he's got his diabetes problem in check. Here's to a happy and healthy life!

After this terrifying read, you might be saying: "I hope I don't have diabetes!" If you are gripped with these panics, consult this handy chart below for symptoms of diabetes.

Among these warning signs, I have also heard that diabetes can make you so ill you have to have your leg amputated. If this happens do you score a pair of robot legs or do you just become a wheelchair guy? For Adam Morrison's sake, I hope it's robot legs.

In an ever more terrifying turn, some diabetics get turned into lizards and have to teach children lessons through carefree, whimsical adventures. Yikes!

One pleasant side effect: this guy is afflicted and grew this great mustache! Go him.

Worried about getting diabetes? Well, (pending clean genetic history) if you eat right and take care of yourself and don't live in Saudi Arabia in 15 years, you should be ok (see map below).

That's diabetes for you. Crazy stuff. One final note: why the negative name? If the doctors didn't want everyone to despair so, they ought have called it liveabetes.