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Print Diabetes Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||amputations, blood-glucose, coma, comas, consciousness, detection, diabetic, diabetics, insulin-producing, noninsulin-dependent, pregnancy, slow-healing, bloodstream, glucose, genetic, medication
By Jennifer Kenny
1 Do you know anyone with diabetes? Have you ever seen someone checking his blood sugar or giving himself an insulin shot? Have you ever wondered why?
2 What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which the cells in a person's body can't take up glucose from the bloodstream. This causes high blood-glucose levels. That may sound complicated, but it really isn't. However, it is a really serious condition. More than 26 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes. About 7 million don't even know they have it.
3 Think back to what you know about your digestive and circulatory systems. When you eat, your body breaks down the nutrients in food in order for your cells to have energy. With carbohydrates, the food is broken down to glucose to be used by the cells for energy.
4 There are special cells in the pancreas that produce a hormone called insulin. Its job is to help glucose from the bloodstream get to the body's cells. When things are working properly, insulin is released when the blood glucose is high. It is not released when the glucose level is low.
5 When things are not working, though, toxic substances build up in the bloodstream. The body urinates more. Thirst increases. Left untreated, a person can lose consciousness because of too much blood sugar and the buildup of toxic substances in the blood. This is often called a diabetic coma. Diabetic comas must be treated, or death can result.
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