Diabetes

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With the rising incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes diagnoses, most students will be touched directly or indirectly by this disease sooner rather than later.  Students will learn about the importance of carbohydrates as the basis of cellular energy and the consequences that occur when supply exceeds demand within an organism. They will examine the delicate control mechanisms that occur inside cells and between cells to maintain a constant supply of energy and how cell signals are used to monitor and regulate organs to provide homeostasis for the entire system.  The interaction of insulin and glucagon with various tissues teaches the mechanisms of cell membrane transport, cell communication and regulatory feedback that hold blood sugar levels in a tightly defined range. Students will learn the impact of high blood sugar on the kidneys and other organs and what actions can be taken to avoid irreparable damage. This case study will impress upon your students that, while there are issues of genetic predisposition that affect metabolism, the actions they take now will have a great impact on their probability of developing diabetes as adults.


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