Have you ever been told to slow down on sweets because you might become diabetic?
If you answered “yes” to this question, then let me guess: you on the heavy side – maybe not too heavy, but getting there. Also, you have members in your family who are diabetic.
Have you ever asked yourself what diabetes really is and what the relationship is between eating too much sweet or “sugary” foods and/or drinks and diabetes?
Here are some facts about diabetes that might just save you from it:
Fact # 1 Diabetes is a metabolism disorder.
Metabolism is one of the ways the body uses digested food to provide the body energy as well as for cell construction leading towards physical growth.
Metabolism happens this way: the food eaten is broken down into glucose (or blood sugar) which is the main source of fuel for the body. As the food is digested by the stomach, glucose or blood sugar passes into the bloodstream. For glucose to be able to get into the cells is it needs insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which is a large gland behind the stomach.
What if the pancreas malfunctions? This is the situation of people with diabetes: their pancreases are functioning efficiently, producing little or no insulin at all, or the cells do not respond properly to the insulin that is produced. When this happens, glucose builds up in the blood, overflows, and passes into the urine, out of the body. Because of this, the body loses its most important source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of sugar.
Fact # 2 There are two types of Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system assaults the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. Because of this, the pancreas becomes incapable of producing insulin.
People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily in order to live.
Type 2 diabetes is linked with obesity, older age, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and ethnicity. According to statistics, about 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing adequate insulin but the body cannot use the insulin efficiently, a condition referred to as insulin resistance. In time, the pancreas produces less and less insulin, which ultimately ends up similar to what happens with type 1 diabetes – glucose builds up in the blood but it becomes useless as the body is unable to use it efficiently. In the end, it is flushed out of the body through urine.
These are just some facts about diabetes. If you want to know more, try visiting your doctor and seek medical advice. Your doctor knows what’s best for you, and seeing him will probably one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make towards staying fit and healthy.