Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body is unable to properly use, store & regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. As a result, glucose accumulates in the blood and does not get to your cells which require glucose as a fuel source.
Diabetes literally means "to pass through" + "sweetened with honey"
Please watch this YouTube video here on diabetes and the body.
Did you know?
- Your blood always has some glucose in it to provide your body and brain with an energy source
- When you have diabetes, the amount of glucose in your blood becomes higher than normal
- Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious and harmful complications
Diabetes occurs for the following reasons
- The body cannot use insulin properly (called insulin resistance)
- The body does not make enough insulin (called insulin deficiency)
- The body does not make enough insulin and cannot use insulin properly
How your body works
Your body is made of trillions of cells, of which all need glucose (sugar) for energy! Our bodies change much of the food we eat into glucose. Your blood then carries this glucose to your cells. A hormone called insulin, made by the pancreas, helps glucose enter the cells where it can be used for energy or stored for later use. If the glucose cannot get into the cells, it builds up in the blood.
- Glucose is the main fuel that keeps the brain running (and us alive), and our brain depends on a continuous supply of it
- Other tissues (muscle, fat, liver, kidneys) use glucose too, but the body prioritizes the brain when supplies are low
- Glucose is either absorbed after digesting food, produced by the liver or taken out of storage (glycogen)
Glucose Level =
glucose absorbed & made - glucose used by brain & tissues
- Insulin is a hormone generally secreted when nutrients are plentiful, and promotes the flow of glucose into your body’s cells
What Causes Glucose Levels to Become Elevated
- In response to increasing glucose levels, the pancreas makes and releases insulin
- Glucose and insulin flow throughout the bloodstream to all parts of the body
- Insulin attaches to cells throughout the body, which open "channels” that allow glucose to move from the bloodstream into the cells
- Without a trigger by insulin, the channels remain closed, and glucose is unable to enter the cells
- This causes glucose levels in the body to become elevated
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreas, damaging it so that it can no longer make insulin. Without any insulin, the glucose level in the body becomes elevated. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to manage the disease.
LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults)
LADA is a slow progressing form of Type 1 diabetes typically diagnosed in adulthood.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes less responsive to the insulin you make. The pancreas will try to compensate by making more insulin but over time may not be able to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Thus, glucose levels in the body becomes elevated.
Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes. If not treated, pre-diabetes can progress to Type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy and typically goes away after birth. Women who have gestational diabetes are at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes within 5–10 years after delivery.