Insulin & How it Effects Diabetes

All of the work done on this project was equally shared by Katie and Sara, a special thanks to Sara for re-searching the different ways of injecting/absorbing insulin and Katie for putting together how diabetes affects your body.

By: Sara & Katie

    • The Presentation:

This is Joyce!

    • The Introduction

Joyce is a model of a human body that we made. The right side of her is affected with diabetes, and is lacking insulin while the other side is healthy. It is affecting her whole body (the diabetes). The pancreas is usually under the stomach... but its is quite important so we put it as the main focus. When a non-diabetic isn't infected by diabetes, the pancreas creates regular, usable insulin. Since a diabetic can not create healthy insulin on their own they external image image-detail.jpghave to get it injected every single day. This is because their insulin is infected. Beta cells, the most common type of cells in the pancreas, produce insulin, which regulates blood glucose. Unhealthy insulin results in diabetes

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    • The Information

How does Diabetes affect every part of your body?

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Heart: Diabetes can damage your blood vessels, and the arteries that supply blood to your heart (and brain). The damage makes it easier for fatty deposits (plaques) to form in the arteries. The buildup of plaques, a condition called atherosclerosis, can stop blood supply and drive up your blood pressure.

Statistically, having diabetes means (heart wise):

  • You're two to four times as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as is someone without diabetes.
  • You're more likely to die of a heart attack than you'd be if you did not have diabetes.
  • Your risk of sudden death from a heart attack is the same as that of someone who has already had a heart attack. That's why diabetes is called a heart disease equivalent

Lungs: When compared to non-diabetic person, people with diabetes had a lower forced vital capacity, and a lower forced expiratory volume in one second. The results were kept after researchers adjusted for factors such as age, sex, race, smoking rates, physical activity, and co-existing cardiovascular disease. Researchers also noticed a significant relationship between lung function and hyperglycemia. When a person's blood sugar was higher, their lung function decreased.

Stomach: diabetes can affect the way your gastrointestinal(GI) tract works. Your GI tract is the group of organs responsible for ingestion, digestion, and absorption of food and the elimination of unwanted waste products. Your GI tract includes your mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. Your liver and pancreas are also considered part of your GI tract and can be affected by diabetes.

Limbs (legs & arms):

  • Proximal neuropathy causes pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and leads to weakness in the legs
    • Peripheral neuropathy causes either pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms.

Peripheral Neuropathy. This type of neuropathy damages nerves in the arms and legs. The feet and legs are likely to be affected before the hands and arms. Many people with diabetes have signs of neuropathy upon examination but have no symptoms at all.
  • toes
  • feet
  • legs
  • hands
  • arms

Proximal Neuropathy. Proximal neuropathy starts with pain in either the thighs, hips, buttocks, or legs, usually on one side of the body. This type of neuropathy is more common in those with type 2 diabetes and in older people. It causes weakness in the legs, manifested by an inability to go from a sitting to a standing position without help.

    • thighs
    • hips
    • buttocks

Pancreas: The hormones created by the endocrine tissue in the pancreas are insulin and glucagon (which regulate the level of glucose in the blood), and somatostatin (which prevents the release of the other two hormones). When the pancreas isn't functioning properly diabetes is created, it is the main reason why it exists today.

Kidneys: In diabetic kidney disease (also called diabetic nephropathy), cells and blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, affecting the organs ability to filter out waste. Waste builds up in your blood instead of being excreted. In some cases this can lead to kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, a person has to have his or her blood filtered through a machine several times a week, or has to get a kidney transplant.

Liver: Liver disease occurring as a consequence of diabetes

"Diabetes can affect any part on your body. The good news is that you can prevent most of these problems by keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) under control, eating healthy, and being more physically active."

You tube video on diabetes

For Your Information: Here are the symptoms of Diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes usually develop symptoms over a short period of time, and the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency setting. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

High blood levels of glucose can cause several problems, including frequent urination, excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and blurry vision. However, because type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar experience no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing infections
  • Impotence in men

  • The Links:

**What is diabetes?** What is Insulin? Canadian Diabetes Association

    • The Research:

Insulin Shots- Alternatives?

When you have diabetes, your body does not produce insulin properly. Insulin is a protine that your body needs, so scientists came up with insulin injectsions (shots) for people with diabetes. Although the shots are specially designed with a small needle to avoid pain, it is time consuming and unpleasent to be given the same shot every day. Could this be the only way to give the body the insulin it needs to convert the glucose into energy? Through research I have discovered that there are now different way to do this process. <-- This is a link that will show you that some diabetes users can use inhalers to supply the body with a short-lasting amount of insulin the body needs. Taken from the site: "It offers adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes an alternative to the insulin injections they need to control their blood sugar."

Here is what the doctor behind the inhaled insulin device has to say: "Until today, patients with diabetes who need insulin to manage their disease had only one way to treat their condition," Steven Galson, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says in a news release. "It is our hope that the availability of inhaled insulin will offer patients more options to better control their blood sugars."

Although this (to me) is a break through, I still feel like there could be a different way for people with diabetes to get a significant amount of insulin (or the same amount as an injection would provide). So, I've done a bit of my own 'scientific thinking'.

The two most logical ways I thought of were 'insulin patches' (which have been thought of before, I found out) and 'insulin buttocks pills'. Yes, I said buttocks pills. The problem I see with the buttocks pills is that they would not provide much more comfort for the user. The whole point of my research is to discover a different, more perfered way for diabetes users to recieve insulin. Although I believe my second option would work, the product would not sell (necessarily).

So I've eliminated the idea of insulin buttocks pills, but what about insulin patches? Although this idea has been presented before, I don't think it has been completely looked into. Think of an insulin patch like a Nicotine patch- the nicotine (in this case insulin) would absorb into the blood stream depending on where the patch is placed. If you placed the insulin patch on the following places, they would be easily absorbed into your blood stream as a injection would also do:

  • The top outer area of the thighs. Insulin usually is absorbed more slowly from this site
  • The upper outer area of the arms.
  • The buttocks

I have come to the simple conclusion that no alternative way of supplying the body with insulin will be as effective as injections themselves. However, for the comfort factor and simplicity in mind for people with diabetes, alternative uses of insulin should be further researched by specialists. In the future I can see there being a solution to insulin injections- will it be anything to do with patches? There is a very strong chance that my predictions are correct.

Thanks for the oppertunity to work on this project.

-Sara Mass


    • The Reflections

(Sara and Katie)

• Do you have at least one paragraph that describes what you learned, and what questions you still have?

Sara's reflection:

When I first agreed to do this project with Katie, I wasn't even sure what diabetes was (to some extent). Katie was interested in the topic because Diabetes runs in her family. However, I was greatly interested in this topic because I was unclear about it and it fascinated me that I would be learning something new and interesting. As soon as Katie and I got things going that next weekend, I began learning huge loads of information. The information on our site is everything that we get; everything we understand. I think the most interesting thing I've personally learned was while I was researching insulin. For just a hormone in your body, insulin is completely useful and needed! When you have diabetes, your body does not produce insulin at all. When you obtain glucose, your body cannot process it because that's the insulin's job and without the insulin, the glucose you've eaten is useless- it just passes through your body meaninglessly. This is a huge concept that took me a long time to catch onto, but now I get it. This is the most interesting (and possibly most valuable) thing I've learned, what diabetes is and what it truly means when you have it.
There are a few things I would still like to know. In the near future, could there be a new way for insulin to be supplied for diabetics in a way not involving needles? Will there come a time where doctors will recommend this new solution?
If researched thoroughly, could we find another form of medicine that could 'replace' insulin injections (in a sense) all together? Is this even remotely possible?
Those are the questions I still want answered. I can only hope that in the future, diabetics have a solution to look forward to. Thanks for this valuable experience and it was wonderful having Katie as my partner. I look forward to working with you again on the Renaissance fair coming up, Katie!

Katie's reflection:
As Sara mentioned... diabetes runs in my family. It took the life of my grandma and patterns down to me. The main reason I chose this as my topic was that particular fact. Also, as Sara mentioned once again... we were both quite dismal with our knowledge of Insulin and diabetes. I found it very important to know more about this disease because I could see how this could affect me and how I could prevent it. I could also see the warnings so I could catch the disease early if I ever get it. The most helpful way to open our horizon of learning to me, was Joyce. We got to do a hands-on project which was really fun! It gave us a good chance to show our creative side. She really helped us get the concept of insulin! Wow... when I look back on all of the hours Sara and I spent on this I feel pride. We must have spent over 6 hours on Joyce and plenty more on the computer.
I personally learned every concept of every paragraph on this page. I told you I needed to know more about this subject!!! The highlights to me were... learning that SO many parts in your body can be affected by diabetes, seeing the different ways of getting insulin in your body, and of course... JOYCE!
I find that it is important to thank my partner Sara for doing this project with me... it really was something to step up and work on something you hardly know... your a great person to work with.
Sara as a partner= an A
We definitely have something to be proud of!

Katie Zinc

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