Several diseases, including diabetes, include issues with the hormone insulin. Insulin is typically released by the pancreas, an organ located beneath the stomach, to assist your body in storing and utilizing the sugar and fat from the food you eat.
When one of the following occurs, diabetes develops:
- The pancreas produces no insulin
- Low insulin production by the pancreas
- An insufficient response to insulin, or “insulin resistance,” makes the body unable to use insulin effectively.
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Role of Insulin in Diabetes
Understanding how the body uses food for energy can assist you in understanding why insulin is crucial in diabetes. There are countless millions of cells in your body. These cells require food in a very basic form to produce energy. When you eat or drink, a large portion of your food is converted into “glucose,” a simple sugar. Later, glucose is delivered by the bloodstream to your body’s cells, where it can be used to fuel some of your body’s daily functions.
The hormone insulin carefully controls the level of glucose in your blood. The pancreas continuously secretes minute amounts of insulin. The pancreas will produce more insulin to move more glucose into the cells when the blood glucose level reaches a certain point. As a result, your blood glucose levels (blood glucose levels) drop.
Your body releases glucose from your liver to keep blood glucose levels from getting too low (hypoglycemia or low blood sugar).
People with diabetes either release insufficient insulin or have cells in their bodies that are resistant to insulin, which results in high blood sugar levels. Diabetes is defined as having a blood glucose level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher after fasting overnight.
Types of Diabetes
Adults with blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes are said to have prediabetes. Impairment of glucose tolerance, or prediabetes, is what this is. Although prediabetes rarely has symptoms, it nearly always exists before type 2 diabetes sets in. However, issues often linked to diabetes, like heart disease, can develop even when a person has prediabetes.
Talk to your doctor about getting tested if you think you might have prediabetes. You can avoid Type 2 diabetes and may be able to reduce your risk of complications like heart disease.
Type 1 diabetes
The immune system kills the beta cells, the pancreas’s insulin-producing cells, causing type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes, who do not make insulin, must administer insulin continuously to regulate their blood sugar. Although it can happen at any age, type 1 diabetes most frequently develops in adults under 20.
Type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, unlike those with type 1 diabetes. However, either not enough insulin is produced by their pancreas, or the body is resistant to it. Glucose cannot enter the body’s cells when there is insufficient insulin or when it is not utilized properly.
The majority of people have type 2 diabetes, which is the most prevalent type of diabetes. While most of these cases can be prevented, they still cause adult diabetics to develop chronic kidney failure, blindness, and non-traumatic amputations. Although it can happen in persons who are not overweight, type 2 diabetes often affects overweight adults over 40. Type 2 diabetes, also known as “adult-onset diabetes,” has started to affect youngsters more frequently due to the growth in adolescent obesity.
Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage it by controlling their weight, monitoring their food, and engaging in regular exercise. Others could additionally require insulin injections or medication to improve their body’s ability to utilize insulin. Doctors can usually predict the possibility of type 2 diabetes before the disease exhibits itself. Prediabetes is the term used to describe a condition where a person’s blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Pregnancy causes gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, the correct functioning of insulin might be impacted by hormonal changes. Up to 9% of pregnancies can have the issue. Women over 25, those overweight before pregnancy, and those with a family history of the disease are at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes raises the risk of complications for the mother and fetus if it is not controlled.
Within six weeks of giving birth, blood sugar levels often recover to normal. The chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes later in life is higher for women with gestational diabetes.
How to treat diabetes?
Although diabetes cannot be cured, it can be managed and controlled. The objectives of treating diabetes are to:
- By balancing food intake with medicine, exercise, and other factors, you can keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
- By eliminating added sugars and processed carbohydrates, you can keep your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels close to the normal limits.
- Take care of your blood pressure. It would help if you didn’t let your blood pressure exceed 130/80.
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