Diabetes covers a number of conditions ranging from problems with the hormone insulin. Normally, the pancreas, the organ behind the stomach, releases insulin to help the body store and use the sugar and fats in the foods we eat. Thus, diabetes occurs in the following situations:
– when the pancreas does not produce insulin;
– when the pancreas produces too little insulin;
– when the body does not respond correctly to the insulin produced, generating the process of „insulin resistance”.
The role of insulin in the body
The human body is made up of millions of cells. To create energy, these cells need food in a very simple form. When we eat or drink, most of our food is broken down into simple sugars, known as „glucose.” Subsequently, glucose is transported through the blood vessels to the body’s cells, where it can be used to provide energy to the body so that it can carry out its daily activities. The amount of glucose in the blood vessels is controlled by insulin, which the pancreas eliminates in small amounts. When the amount of glucose in the blood rises to a certain level, then the pancreas eliminates insulin, sending more glucose to the cells. This phenomenon causes the blood glucose to drop. So that its level is not too low, the body emits hunger signals and removes glucose from the liver’s stores.
Patients diagnosed with diabetes either do not produce insulin or are resistant to insulin, which means that they have a higher level of sugar, which circulates through their blood, causing them to have high blood sugar. By definition, diabetes involves a blood glucose level of 126 milligrams / deciliter of blood or more, monitored after a night’s fast (in which the patient does not eat food).
Type 1 diabetes occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. People with type 1 diabetes use insulin injections to control their blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes. Unlike type 1 diabetes, patients with type 2 diabetes produce insulin. However, either the amount secreted is too small or their body is insulin resistant. Therefore, glucose cannot enter the body’s cells. Type 2 diabetes is responsible for blindness, non-traumatic amputations, etc.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
– high thirst;
– high hunger;
– dry mouth;
– frequent urination;
– unexpected weight loss;
– blurry vision;
– episodes of shortness of breath;
– loss of consciousness (rare).
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
– slow recovery of cuts and wounds;
– itchy skin;
– weight gain;
– numbness of the hands and feet or tingling sensations;
– impotence or erectile dysfunction;
How should diabetes be managed?
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled by the following methods:
– keeping the sugar level as close as possible to normal, balancing food intake with medication and physical activity.
– maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels within normal limits, avoiding sugars and processed starches, as well as reducing saturated fats and cholesterol.
– blood pressure control, which should not exceed 130/80.
– following a balanced diet.
– following an exercise plan.
– following the doctor’s instructions.
– blood glucose monitoring at home