Learn what is type 2 diabetes. Only then, you can manage it properly.
The majority (about 95%) of diabetic patients are Type 2. In contrast to Type 1 diabetics, most Type 2 diabetics do not need insulin shots to manage their diabetes.
What is the root cause of Type 2 Diabetes?
In Type 2 diabetes, the body is able to produce insulin, but there is resistance to its action. This is known as insulin resistance. This is the root cause of Type 2 diabetes.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin is a hormone produced by specialized cells in the pancreas, known as beta-cells. One of the main functions of insulin is to drive glucose from the blood into the cells, especially muscle cells, where it is used as a fuel to produce energy.
Think of the cell as a small room and the blood vessel as a hallway outside of the room. Glucose is a delivery person, running through the hallway trying to enter the room, but the door is closed. Insulin works as the doorman, opening the door for glucose to enter. Insulin must open the door for glucose to enter a cell.
In individuals prone to develop Type 2 diabetes, the doors in the cell wall are difficult to open, as if their hinges are rusty. Consequently, insulin cannot easily open the door. This is called insulin resistance.
Progression To Type 2 Diabetes
Now, instead of one doorman, you need three or four doormen to pry the door open. In other words, your pancreas produces more and more insulin in response to insulin resistance. This keeps your blood sugar in the normal range for a long time. If insulin resistance is not treated, as is often the case, the pancreas eventually becomes exhausted and insulin production starts to drop. At this stage, your blood glucose levels start to rise, and you gradually develop prediabetes and then diabetes.
The ability of the pancreas to produce insulin varies from person to person. Some people have a limited ability to produce insulin. They develop diabetes at a younger age—in their twenties and thirties or even in their teens. Others have an extraordinary ability to produce large amounts of insulin. These patients do not develop diabetes until late in life. They may die of a heart attack or stroke before they develop diabetes.
Remember, diabetes is only one of the manifestations of insulin resistance. Other manifestations include prediabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol disorder, heart disease, stroke, dementia, fatty liver, and a high risk for cancer.
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