Do you think you know everything about diabetes and ways to control it? Maybe yes, maybe no. When you visit different medical sites to gather knowledge of diabetes, there are many heavy terms that you come across. You may not understand those terms, which makes you difficult to understand the disorder as a whole. To ease out things for you, this article will throw light on diabetes in the most lay man’s language possible.
How would you know if you have diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is of two types- Type 1 and Type 2. Do not get startled hearing the name of diabetes mellitus. It is just the medical name for the common term diabetes. You do not see the Type 1 form of diabetes very often, but Type 2 is extremely common. If you have diabetes, it is mostly the Type 2 version. Now, what is the difference between these two forms and how can you revert the disorder? To know answers to these questions, read the information given below for you.
To understand the diabetes types and what it does your body, you need to first know the background of it. When are you affected by diabetes? What happens to your body during this condition? The pancreas is the mother gland that is responsible for causing diabetes. There are three types of cells within your pancreas- alpha, beta and delta, and each of them secretes something. You need not worry about alpha and delta cells for diabetes. Beta cells are the ones that secrete insulin. Now insulin regulates a very important function in your body, which is your blood sugar level.
When you eat foods rich in carbohydrates, various enzymes in your body breaks it into smaller glucose units. Glucose is not just sugar, but also the energy that your body requires to perform work. When excess glucose accumulates in your blood, it triggers beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin. What insulin does is, it helps your body cells to use up glucose for energy. When no more energy is needed, it converts extra glucose into glycogen and stores it in the liver for future use.
Now, what will happen if there is very little or no insulin? Glucose will keep piling up in your blood, thereby increasing your blood sugar level and cause diabetes. When there is any problem with the functioning of pancreatic beta cells due to hormonal imbalance or genetic reasons:
- Either there is no production of insulin or traces of it present- Type 1 diabetes.
- Your body synthesizes insulin but responds to it in very different or ineffective ways- Type 2 diabetes.
What happens to you when insulin rises in blood?
You know what happens when insulin is present in deficit amounts in your body. However, what about when its concentration elevates in your blood? Are there any problems associated with higher levels of insulin as well? When you have Type 2 diabetes, you actually dwell in a condition called Insulin Resistance.
In simple words, it means that your body cells have become resistant to insulin and is not using it properly. What is the work of your body cells with respect to insulin production? Insulin helps in glucose take up by cells for energy, and storing excess glucose as glycogen in the liver. If your body cells become resistant to insulin, glucose will keep building up in your blood. Your pancreas will try its best to produce more insulin, but it will not work. So its ability will eventually decrease, which will ultimately cause Type 2 diabetes.
Now you are left with excess glucose in your blood, and excess insulin that is non-functional. Both these elevated levels will now start posing harmful effects to your body. High insulin causes the following damaging effects:
- Increases slat and water retention leading to high blood pressure.
- Makes you prone to heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
- Increases your chances of getting affected with type 2 diabetes
- Raises VLDL or bad cholesterol levels.
- Can lead to the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- May drive proliferation and progression of cancer cells.
How to reverse diabetes?
- Avoid foods that have high carbohydrate content. This means you cannot have rice, pasta or similar foods.
- Do not go for sweet drinks or beverages. Try sticking to normal water, tea or coffee.
- Avoid all foods that have added sugar. If your body is not in a phase to process sugars and heavy carbohydrates, do not supply it with more.
- Choose natural and healthy fats over unhealthy fats. Eat avocados, almonds, and olives without any fear of gaining body weight. You actually lose weight when you have healthy fat food sources like almonds.
- You do not have to count calories while eating foods. Concentrate on eating healthy and food quality, calories will automatically stay in control.
- Always accompany your meal with protein-rich food. It will help in stabilizing your blood pressure level and also giving you a feeling of fullness. This will help you to cut down on the craving of snacks, which you may otherwise take in between meals.
- Try doing regular fasting or TRF (time restricted fasting) at frequent intervals. It helps you to intake calories in limits and also keep insulin levels under control.
To beat insulin resistance, you need to cut down on foods that supply high insulin content. If you wish to reverse type 2 diabetes, deal with its root cause – insulin resistance. You cannot simply stress on lowering your blood sugar levels with medicines, without concerning the insulin levels.
In this way, you are actually curing the symptoms, not the primary cause. It is like you are trying to get rid of water from a flooding sink using a bucket, instead of turning the tap off. Change your lifestyle choices to reduce and revert chances of type 2 diabetes. Make proper food choices and focus on a healthy lifestyle, with controlled food intake and regular exercises. Too much glucose and insulin are toxic to you. Keep both these contrasting components under control and ensure your wellbeing.