What is Diabetes? How Does It Occur?

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What is Diabetes? How Does It Occur?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the insulin hormone, which is necessary for the use of simple sugars called glucose, which is an important source of nutrients for our body's cells, is not secreted at all or not secreted sufficiently or the insulin produced by the pancreas cannot be used effectively by the cells.

The main task of the insulin hormone is to ensure that sugar enters the cell and is stored as glycogen. However, in diabetic patients, since the aforementioned situations occur, glucose in the consumed food cannot be used. As a result of this cycle, the rate of sugar in the blood, in other words, blood sugar level begins to increase.

Diabetes is called type 1 when the pancreas cannot produce insulin, and type 2 when the cells become insensitive to the insulin produced and cannot use the glucose in the food even if the pancreas produces insulin. The incidence of type 2 diabetes is quite higher compared to type 1 diabetes. Although the cause of this disease is not known exactly, many factors are considered to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes occurrence.

I would like to briefly explain the role of insulin and glucose in our body in order to clear up questions about diabetes and help you understand the mechanism of this disease more clearly. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin circulates in the blood and allows glucose gained from the food to enter the cells. After glucose is transported into the cells, blood sugar level decreases. As the rate of sugar in the blood decreases, the pancreas reduces insulin secretion.

Glucose, on the other hand, is a simple sugar used as the main energy source for cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose can be obtained from food but also secreted into the body by the liver. When the glucose level is low, glucose is sent to the body from the glycogen stores in the liver.

How To Recognize Diabetes?

The answers to this question take us to the symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes is recognized when the symptoms show up in our body. Therefore, both type 1 diabetes symptoms and type 2 diabetes symptoms should be known. If these symptoms are observed in your body, you should be examined by a specialist doctor without delay.

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of diabetes is the measurement of blood sugar. The fasting blood glucose level of a healthy individual without diabetes should not exceed 120 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl two hours after eating.

When the fasting blood sugar of people with symptoms of diabetes is measured and oral glucose tolerance test is performed, it can be understood whether people have diabetes. As a result of these tests:

  • If the result of fasting blood glucose measurement is in the range of 100 - 125 mg/dl, it is indicated that the person has impaired fasting glucose.
  • If the result of fasting blood glucose measurement is above 126 mg/dl, diabetes can be diagnosed.
  • If the result of the oral glucose tolerance test is between 140 - 199 mg/dl, the person is considered to have impaired fasting glucose.
  • If the result of oral glucose tolerance test is 200 mg/dl and above, it is concluded that the person has diabetes.

How is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes, which is a chronic disease, can be thought of as a controllable disease rather than curable. It is very important for diabetics to stay in contact with doctors and to obtain information about their diseases.

For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, patients should increase their physical activity, eat healthy and lose weight if they are overweight. Also, the medicines determined by the doctors in line with the medical condition of the patient should be taken without interruption.

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