What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism – the way our body processes and uses certain foods, especially carbohydrates. The human body normally converts carbohydrates to glucose, the simple sugar that is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. To enter cells glucose needs the help of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. The pancreas is supposed to automatically produce the right amount of insulin to allow glucose to enter body cells from the blood and be converted into energy.
However, when the pancreas produces either little or no insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin produced, the body cannot process glucose. As a result, it builds up in the blood stream, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body, effectively depriving the body of its main source of fuel.
TYPE 1 – INSULIN DEPENDENT: Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by a genetic predisposition and considered an autoimmune disease in which the human immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. Consequently the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
A person with Type 1 diabetes needs daily injections of insulin to live. Type 1 develops most often in children and young adults, but can occur at any age. Type 1 accounts for 10% of diagnosed diabetes cases in the US.
TYPE 2: is called “2” because it requires, TWO causes: congenital and acquired. TWO mechanisms: Insulin Resistance and beta cell fatigue, and the Insulin Resistance has TWO problems:
– Decreased glucose uptake in TWO tissues (Muscle and fat)
– Increased glucose production by the liver
Usually occurs after the age of 30 but can also occur in children and teens. About 80% of people with Type 2 are over weight.