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Decoding Diabetes – Part 1

  • Diabetes Test

A chronic condition in which the body produces too little insulin or can’t use available insulin efficiently. Yes, we’re talking about Diabetes.

Much of the food we eat is broken down by digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy. Glucose passes into the bloodstream and, from there, into cells, which use it for energy.

However, most cells require the hormone insulin to ‘unlock’ them so glucose can enter. Insulin is normally produced by beta cells in the pancreas (a large gland behind the stomach). In healthy people, the process of eating signals the pancreas to produce the right amount of insulin to enable the glucose from the food to get into cells. If this process fails or doesn’t work properly, diabetes develops.

Diabetes facts

You are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, don’t exercise, are over 45, or have close relatives with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes.


Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes:

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin because the insulin-producing beta cells have been destroyed. Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes, accounting for about 5 to 10 percent of diabetes cases. Formerly known as “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 typically develops during childhood or young adulthood but can appear at any age.

Type 2 Diabetes:

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin but the body does not respond to it properly (insulin resistance). In time, the pancreas can fail to produce enough of its own insulin and requires insulin replacement.

Type 2 diabetes most often occurs in overweight or obese adults after the age of 30, but may also develop in children. Factors that contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are genetics, obesity, physical inactivity and advancing age.

Gestational Diabetes:

A third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, is one of the most common problems of pregnancy. Left uncontrolled, it can be dangerous for both baby and mother.

*Pre-diabetes: Alarm for Diabetes

A new term, “pre-diabetes,” describes an increasingly common condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Those with prediabetes have impaired fasting glucose (between 100 and 126 mg/dL after an overnight fast), or they have impaired glucose tolerance as indicated by one or more simple tests used to measure glucose levels or Hb A1c(Glycaleted haemoglobin) value of 5.7% to 6.4%

The ADA(AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION) reports that in one study, about 11 percent of people with prediabetes developed type 2 diabetes each year during the average three years of follow-up.

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