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What happens in Diabetes?

In normal people the body produces adequate amount of insulin. The food we eat undergoes the following changes before it is utilized by the cells to release energy.

  • The food we eat is broken down by the digestive system into nutrients and glucose is one of them.
  • Glucose thus formed is absorbed into the bloodstream and then the blood glucose level begins to rise.
  • As the blood glucose rises, the body sends a signal to the pancreas, which releases a hormone called insulin.
  • Insulin allows the glucose to enter the body’s cells.

Here’s how: Acting as a key, the insulin unlocks the cell wall so that glucose from the bloodstream can enter the cell. Once inside, glucose is used for energy right away. Some glucose is stored by the liver for later use.

After you eat a meal your blood glucose starts to rise. The pancreas senses this rise and responds by making insulin to help move the glucose into your cells (refer step 1 to step 4)

When your blood glucose is low – as can happen when you don’t eat- the liver senses this drop and responds by releasing glucose into the blood stream

People with diabetes have partial or complete lack of insulin production in the body.  The key to open the cell is not working and so instead, glucose levels pile up in the bloodstream.

Type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. The body stops making insulin because the cells in the pancreas have been destroyed.

Type 2 diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes produce insufficient insulin, or the insulin that they produce does not work properly and can’t move glucose into the body’s cells.

This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood and can cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels).

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