The prevalence of this disease is growing. According to WHO data, in 1980, diabetes was diagnosed in 108 million people on the planet, and in 2014 — already in 422 million, which was 8.5% of the Earth’s population! In 2016, diabetes ranked 7th among the most common causes of death.
Today we will discuss the basic scientific information about diabetes, which will be useful to you in life. Let’s start with the fact that glucose (for simplicity, we will call it «sugar») is the main substance that gives us energy. It is absorbed from food into the blood, and is also produced in the liver. Then it is distributed throughout the body, penetrates into tissues and cells, where it breaks down with the release of energy.
However, sugar cannot enter a muscle or any other cell until it is «opened the door». The function of the «key to the door» is performed by the hormone insulin, which is produced in the pancreas when sugar in the blood increases. This is how the process works normally, when it is disrupted — diabetes develops.
Type 1 Diabetes
Also known as insulin-dependent, also known as «child». The disease occurs due to the absence or insufficient secretion of insulin by the pancreas. The cause of this form of the disease is unknown. There is a theory that the cause is a virus that multiplies in the pancreas. The immune system fights the infection while killing its own pancreas — insulin can no longer be produced, blood sugar levels rise. According to the analogy above, we no longer have a «key» to «open the door» and let sugar into the cells.
Type 2 Diabetes
Also known as insulin-independent, also known as «adult». Usually appears in people over 40 who have:
metabolic disordersobesitysedentary lifestyle
At the same time, the number of insulin receptors on the surface of cells decreases, although there is more than enough insulin itself. To make it clearer, imagine that you have a bunch of keys, and in some rooms there are simply no doors to open them.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Regardless of the type, the symptoms are similar, although in type 1 diabetes they are more pronounced:
increased urinationthirstconstant feeling of hungerweight lossvision changesfatigue
How does high sugar harm the body?
Glucose accumulates in the body and begins to enter into chemical reactions with proteins, damaging organs and tissues. Small vessels suffer the most, they harden, break or become clogged. Possible consequences include:
irreversible binding of glucose to hemoglobin — glycation. Leads to deterioration of oxygen transport throughout the bodykidney damage and their insufficiencyheart damage, deterioration of its blood supply, oxygen starvation, insufficiency, increased risk of heart attack 2-3 timesimpairment of cerebral circulation, increased risk of stroke 2-3 timesdamage to the retina of the eye, deterioration of vision, blindness (diabetes is the cause in 2.6% of all cases)decreased immunity, nerve damage, slow healing of wounds and increased risk of developing infections often lead to the development of gangrene of the lower extremities, which ends in amputation.
Thank you for reading to this point and caring about your health! If you are interested in learning more about the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes — we have prepared a special article.