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What exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a blood sugar disorder. Excess glucose in the bloodstream doesn't get into the cells
and muscle tissue of the body where it acts as fuel to be burned as energy. Diabetics often find
themselves sluggish and tired.


In order to get into the cells, glucose must have both insulin and GTF (Glucose Tolerance
Factor). Insulin acts as a key. It opens the cell “door” so glucose can get in where it can be stored and used as energy. Insulin is generated by the beta cells of the pancreas. Under normal conditions the pancreas produces just enough insulin to get the job done. Insulin production occurs shortly after eating. Things are different for the diabetic.


The food you eat is turned into glucose. How much depends on the type of food and how much
you eat. A meal high in simple carbohydrates will lead to a sharp rise in blood sugar. Complex
carbohydrates take longer to be converted into glucose. The pancreas kicks in to produce insulin so the excess sugar can be shuttled into the muscle and other cells of the body for future storage and the be used as energy.


There are two types of diabetics. In type 1, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to get
that glucose into the cells. With little insulin to shuttle excess glucose into the cells, glucose stays in the bloodstream where it builds up to dangerous levels and begins to wreck havoc on the organs. Type 1 is usually prevalent in the early years and usually strikes children and young adults. The reason why the pancreas does not do the job of producing insulin is unclear, though it is assumed that the pancreas becomes damaged or is attacked by the body's own immune system. Cancer of the pancreas can contribute to a lack of insulin, though this condition is rare in children. Yet another reason is due to burnout which results to overproduction of insulin and eventual burnout of the pancreas.

Whatever the reason, Type 1 diabetics require insulin shots to do the job the pancreas cannot
perform. They need to take insulin before every meal to control their blood sugar and require it for the rest of their lives. Only 5% of diabetics fall into the Type 1 category.
The majority of diabetics are Type 2. They have healthy pancreas that generates adequate
amounts of insulin, but the insulin is not able to “open the door” of the cells so glucose can enter. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin to get the job done. But often the cells become resistant to insulin-they simply don't open up. This situation make the pancreas produce even more insulin. Eventually, the pancreas cannot produce any more and burns itself out. Type 2 diabetics have no lack of insulin. The cells just don't recognize insulin.


The reason for this insulin resistance is due to the fact that most type 2 diabetics are overweight
and obese. Fully 90% of Type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. It has been shown that fat around
the abdominal region acts like a separate organ, producing compounds which can make cells resistant. Excess fat interferes with the functioning of the cells. Just by shedding a few pounds, you can better manage your blood sugar levels. Of course weight loss is not the only solution. Besides excess weight a sedentary lifestyle aggravates the problem. The cells need oxygen and the proper nutrients that make them elastic and better able to take in glucose. The proper amount of exercise helps them do the job.
The human body is made to be active. Without some kind of activity whether it's as simple as
walking, cooking or cleaning, cells can't function. A diet of highly refined and processed food loaded with fat and sugar makes up the standard fare of most everyone, but does little to help those cells.
Diabetes rates a close third behind heart disease and cancer. Many of the food you buy come
loaded with fat, sugar and salt and has little essential fiber like that of our early ancestors. It's the lack of the right nourishment that is leading the world to the epidemic of diabetes.