My parents used to inform great granny to’stay out of the sugar!’ whenever we left her place. I wasn’t sure why they said it, but everyone got a kick out of it. Great-grandma, I came to find out had ‘the sugar diabetes‘ ( recounted dia-BEE-tuzz by my family ) so she was never allowed to eat plenty of sugar ( horrors ). Anyhoo, years passed before I understood why.
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When you eat carbs ( generally sugars and starches ), your body digests the food and the glucose ( sugar ) is sucked from your small intestine into your blood. The glucose goes into your bloodstream so it can be delivered to cells throughout your body.
When the glucose enters your arteries, your blood sugar ( aka blood glucose ) levels rise, triggering the production and release of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is formed by beta cells scattered thru your pancreas and, among other things, it tightly controls the level of sugar in your blood stream at any given time. It is doing this by telling your muscle and fat cells to tug the glucose ( sugar ) from the blood into the cells, out of the bloodstream.
When you have raised levels of glucose ( sugar ) in your blood you are said to have hyperglycemia or you are’hyperglycemic’ ( low blood sugar is hypoglycemia ). If the sugar in your blood tests out at regularly high or greater than average levels, then you are diagnosed with a specific kind of diabetes. Diabetes is a protracted illness implying that once diagnosed it lasts a whole life, although it can be controlled.
You have type 1 diabetes ( aka insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes ) when your pancreas can’t produce insulin in any way. This takes place when your body’s immune mechanism goes wrong and by mistake manufactures antibodies ( proteins in the blood that are part of the immune system ) that attack the beta cells in its own pancreas, rendering it incapable of producing insulin. That is what type one diabetes is. This tendency to supply aberrant antibodies is thought to be, in part, genetic, though it is not entirely accepted.
Type 1 diabetes is the least common, and it is located primarily in young, lean folk below the age of thirty. Screening for particular types of antibodies is encouraged for people who have a parent or sibling with type one diabetes.
Of the folks that have diabetes, 90% have type two and it happens later on in life. It is sometimes called non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes and it is indicated by the undeniable fact that you can still produce insulin. The difficulty is, you do not produce enough, or your body doesn’t correctly use the insulin it produces. Your body’s cells may be insulin resistant. This is the first problem in type two diabetes. Insulin resistance is when your cells don’t reply usually to a stipulated quantity of insulin, suggesting higher degrees of insulin are required in order for insulin to have its effects.
Insulin resistance predates type two diabetes, often by years. In fact, your blood glucose and insulin levels may be standard for years and then, bam! You become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance has a strong genetic factor and may also be due to some medicines, but it is sometimes seen in folks who have metabolic syndrome, are obese, pregnant, seriously ill, stressed or using steroids.
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- Type 1 diabetes (bupa.com.au)
- Demystifying childhood diabetes: the facts about type 1 vs type 2 (bupa.com.au)
- Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes (everydayhealth.com)
- Understanding Type 1 Diabetes (everydayhealth.com)
- What is type 1 or type 2 diabetes (wiki.answers.com)
- Advocates Seek Artificial Pancreas Approval (abcnews.go.com)
- Trials of diabetes breath tester (bbc.co.uk)
- More ways to cope with type 1 diabetes (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Promising new compound to prevent Type 1 diabetes identified (news.bioscholar.com)
- Constant Management of Diabetes is Crucial (e-prescribe.biz)