Katie: Welcome back to Pass the Blame. We’re here with Pancreas discussing her body’s recent diagnosis of type two diabetes. And we have two special guests with us, organs who say they’ve been cleaning up after her for years. Let’s welcome the Kidney Twins!
Kidney 1: Hi, Katie. Hello, Pancreas. You certainly keep us busy.
Pancreas: Hmph, again with the finger pointing. I blame the system. If only the…Katie, why are you laughing?
Katie: Because the body is a series of systems and you blame the sys…never mind. Kidney, what did you mean when you said you clean up after Pancreas?
Kidney 1: Remember how she said that when glucose can’t enter a cell it stays in the blood? Well, after a while, the blood fills up with glucose. It’s not safe and somebody has to remove it.
Katie: That somebody is you?
Kidney 1: That’s correct. We remove glucose the way we remove anything that shouldn’t be in the blood. We turn it into urine so it can be pumped out of body.
Katie: Your twin doesn’t say very much.
Kidney 1: She’s calculating how much urine needs to be produced and it’s more and more these days. We’ve been working overtime.
Pancreas: You’re not the only ones.
Kidney 1: If you did your job and moved the glucose into the cells like you’re supposed to, we wouldn’t be up to our elbows in liquid waste!
Pancreas: Oh, boo hoo! I was working overtime way before you! I’m doing everything I can!
Kidney 1: It’s not enough! I’m not sure if what we do will be enough. The blood glucose levels are all over the place. It’s like a roller coaster in the blood stream and we’re going to lose Foot or Eyes!
Kidney 2: There, there, Kidney, don’t cry. Save the water for the urine. We’re not that far along yet. Brain is pushing the thirsty button almost constantly now, and body is drinking more. We’ll get ahead of it.
Katie: Ladies, can we agree that you all look exhausted and move on from there? Thank you. Now, what would happen if you all took a day off? What’s so bad about the blood glucose levels being high for a while?
Kidney 2: Glucose messes with the nitric oxide in the blood.
Kidney 1: The more glucose there is, the less nitric oxide there is. Nitric oxide makes the blood vessels relax and open wide.
Katie: So without sufficient nitric oxide, the blood vessels are stressed out?
Kidney 1: They become stressed, yes. They stay tight and hard and constricted which makes it harder for the blood to flow.
Katie: And if the blood can’t flow freely…
Pancreas: Then Body gets high blood pressure and eventually the body parts farthest from the heart don’t get enough blood.
Kidney 2: The nerves become damaged. It’s called neuropathy. Sometimes neuropathy causes pain or tingling and sometimes it causes numbness.
Katie: That’s why you’re worried about Foot; she’s far from the heart. Why are you worried about Eyes?
Kidney 1: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels feeding the retina. When you mess with the retina, you mess with your vision. Eyes can lose focus or even become blind.
Katie: Wow, no wonder you ladies are working so hard.
Pancreas: We can’t give up.
Katie: We’ll be right back with a special guest who says she can help reduce Body’s glucose problem.