The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.
There are different types of diabetes; the main ones being type 1 or formerly known as juvenile diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. There is also type 1.5. Our focus will be type 2 diabetes and getting back to the basics of what is diabetes 2?
The American Diabetes Association states that “Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk.”
Diabetes 2 has become so common that it has been referred to as an epidemic. It therefore makes sense to know exactly what it is so it can be clearly identified and the necessary precautions taken to avoid becoming a victim of diabetes 2.
Diabetes is basically the body’s inability to process sugars properly. When we eat or drink, our “pancreas” produces a hormone called “insulin”. Insulin is released into the blood and helps to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. In persons with diabetes this process does not function correctly. Two situations may arise:
a) Insufficient insulin may be produced by the pancreas, or
b) The body has developed resistance to the insulin even though it’s been produced, causing the insulin to be ineffective. This is normally referred to as “insulin resistance.”
This is where the problem mushrooms because insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can and does lead to diabetes complications.