With the problem of Diabetes growing at an unprecedented rate in country and the associated increase in obesity, sedentary lifestyle and poor understanding of Diabetes, I think it is a good time to educate ourselves as to what exactly is diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease of sugar metabolism in the human body. Most food that is processed through our bodies is broken down by digestive juices into a sugar called glucose.
Glucose is the fuel our bodies run on
When we eat, and our food is processed, the pancreas is supposed to regulate the right amount of glucose in our blood automatically and release the right amount of insulin into our blood to accomplish this function.
In people with diabetes, two things happen. Either little to no insulin is produced or the body’s cells don’t respond correctly to the insulin that is produced. Therefore the glucose builds up and overflows into the urine and passes out of the body.
This is how the body loses its main source of fuel even though the bloodstream contains good amounts of the natural glucose.
Three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes
People who have Type-I diabetes are known as insulin-dependent. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s natural system is fighting against another part of the body. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the system attacks the insulin producing cells and destroys them. Therefore the pancreas can produce little to no insulin. These people are in need of daily injections of insulin to stay alive.
Type-II diabetes is the most widely encountered type of diabetes and is a lifestyle disorder. Here the body is producing sufficient insulin however the body produces a sort of resistance to insulin wherein the insulin receptors fail to act and the body thinks that it needs more insulin to carry out its glucose regulatory function.
Why such a resistance develops is still being researched?
However what has been found is that there is a significant link between obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices and Type-II diabetes.
A special type of diabetes which is found exclusively during pregnancy is called Gestational diabetes. This is a highly specific category of diabetes seen specifically in pregnant women and which needs to be monitored carefully as it has potential threats to the unborn child if left untreated.