What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a popular health topic claiming the attention of the media and medical experts. There are different types of diabetes and the most common one is Type 2, often described as adult onset diabetes mellitus. Much of the focus of health campaigns refers to this type and it will be the topic of discussion. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus has become more prevalent and is associated with many other life-threatening conditions. But what is it? This article will explain.

Our body converts carbohydrates into glucose and insulin is required to transport glucose into the cells so it can be used or stored for energy. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a condition where there is a problem with the utilization of glucose and function of insulin. Signs of this condition include a higher than normal blood glucose level; this is called hyperglycemia. Resistance to the effects of insulin or impaired insulin secretion is also found. A diagnosis is made when there is evidence of persistent hyperglycemia and insulin resistance is confirmed over time.

Glucose levels that are consistently elevated contribute to a viscous cycle because the elevated glucose can harm the cells in the pancreas responsible for secreting insulin. This leads to further insulin resistance and impaired secretion, which subsequently cause higher levels of blood glucose. Control of blood glucose levels is needed to break the cycle and to prevent further damage to the pancreas.

The development of diabetes is a complex process and can’t be attributed to one cause. A genetic susceptibility to insulin problems has been identified and multiple genes are involved. It is also clear that obesity is a major contributor to the onset of this problem but the degree of excessive weight, which may trigger the problem, varies in individuals. Every obese person does not develop diabetes and not everyone with diabetes mellitus is overweight. However, significant weight loss in individuals with diabetes can lead to a cure of the diabetes. Other contributors include low physical activity and diet. Increased physical activity and appropriate diet improves diabetes.

Elevated glucose levels alone are not of concern but if persistent over a long period can have serious consequences. Long term and uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart attack, kidney failure, strokes, vision loss and vascular compromise causing loss of extremities. The damage to the pancreas from consistently elevated glucose levels contributes to a viscous cycles which worsens the glucose control and hastens the disease process. Prevention and manage of diabetes can save your life.

I hope this article has provided you with information that will help you make wise choices, so you may:

Live healthy, live well and live long!

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