Alarming research statistics inform us of how many millions worldwide have diabetes and the many more who are not currently aware that they do, which is partly because diabetes is not a condition that always presents itself immediately – you might not be aware you have developed the symptoms until it has progressed quite some way.
What then is this silent pandemic, ravaging the adult lives of many and what are the causes?
What Is Diabetes?
In simple terms, diabetes prevents your body from converting sugars and starches in your food into energy. The body uses insulin to do this.
When diabetes is present, the body fails to produce insulin or the insulin it produces, doesn’t work properly (insulin resistance).
When we eat food, some special cells in our pancreas should produce insulin. The insulin transports glucose, made from carbohydrates in the food, into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy.
Sugars and starches are the most efficient source of food energy and are carried in the blood as glucose.
What Are The Main Types of Diabetes?
Type 1: the body’s immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce insulin and insulin injections are required for life.
Type 2: the body does not produce enough insulin or its cells do not react to it
In type 2 diabetes, the cause is generally weight related. If you are slim, it is likely your body is not producing enough insulin to convert the carbohydrate you eat into energy.
You may need tablets and/or insulin to help. If you are overweight, it is more likely that insulin resistance is responsible.
Reducing your weight and being physically active will reduce your insulin resistance, but you may need medication or to inject insulin to help.
There are other types of diabetes but they are unusual conditions and specialist care should be provided.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown but it is thought to be an auto-immune process. In effect the body produces antibodies to the pancreas, damaging it and preventing it producing insulin. Type 1 diabetes only affects about 10% of all people with diabetes and it usually starts below the age of 40.
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect older people, although it is being found increasingly in younger people – especially if they are overweight and lacking in physical activity.
Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity and tends to run in families. It is more prevalent in people of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent.
Many people with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure and cholesterol and may need tablets to control these too.
It is called “Diabetes Freedom”.
However, It is not a ‘Crash Diet’ – when you crash diet, your body fights back and you are left worse than when you started. Rather, weight shed with Diabetes Freedom is CONTROLLED and PERMANENT.
Symptoms and Causes of Diabetes