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diabetes

Diabetes

             Nowadays one of the most common diseases is diabetes. Even though it affects all age group but, still middle-aged and older adults are at higher risk. Studies show that about 422 million of the world population have diabetes. Few countries which have the highest number of people with diabetes are India, China, the USA, and Indonesia. Diabetes also famous as "Mother of all diseases" is one of the leading cause for heart disease and some other conditions. Though it's not a curable disease can be treated and controlled forever.
                  There is the number of reasons, why we get diabetes. But most common is our busy lifestyle where we don't get time to take care of ourselves. So let's discuss what diabetes is? How does it affect our body? What are the complications? How we can treat diabetes? Etc.

What is Diabetes?
   Diabetes also is known as (Diabetes mellitus) is a disease in which, the body is unable to produce a hormone called 'Insulin.' resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrate and elevated 'glucose levels' in blood.
 
First of all, let's know how do things work inside our body, so when we eat food that contains the simple sugar (mainly carbohydrate foods) our body breakdowns this food into glucose. So what does glucose do? Glucose gives us energy, or in other words glucose is the fuel of cells (building blocks of life) in our body, and cells need energy for our body to function for example- walking, talking, thinking, writing and everything we do in our daily life is because our cell have energy which comes from glucose. In short, what we eat get breaks down to glucose and later for "cells food."
    But glucose going into the body cells is not an easy process. Insulin plays a vital role here, as our body needs Insulin to get glucose into our cells and store it for later.

How the body makes glucose?
   When we eat food rich in carbohydrates like rice, potato, bread, etc., the food travels down to our stomach. In the stomach, the digestive enzymes and acid break down the food into small pieces, and the glucose is released. Then the food travels to the intestine where the glucose is absorbed and passed into the bloodstream. Once the glucose is in the blood, the Insulin helps it to get into the cells.
     When the glucose is in the bloodstream, it is known as the blood glucose or blood sugar. Increase in blood glucose signals the pancreas to produce Insulin. The Insulin tells the cells throughout our body to take glucose from our bloodstream. As the glucose moves into our cells, our blood glucose level goes down. Most of the cells in our body use glucose for energy after our body has used the energy it needs, the extra glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

How Glycogen works?
     When we do not eat for several hours, our blood glucose level drops. Pancreas stops producing insulin. Alpha cells in the pancreas begin to build a different hormone called glucagon, this signals the liver to break down stored glycogen and turn it back into glucose. Again this glucose travels to our bloodstream to replenish our supply till we eat again.

What are Glycogen and Glucagon?
     When glucose is used as energy, the leftover glucose is changed to Glycogen to get stored easily in our liver and muscle for later use.
   
 Glucagon is a hormone which works with other hormones to control the glucose levels in the blood. Drop in blood glucose level can cause many complications. Thus Glucagon prevents blood glucose levels to drop to a very low point. This happens when the blood glucose level is really low, the Glucagon stimulates the stored glycogen in the liver to convert to glucose, this glucose is then released into the bloodstream (this process is known as Glycogenolysis)
  Glucagon also stops the liver from consuming glucose, so that more glucose can enter the bloodstream.
     
 In short, Glucagon and Insulin work together, Insulin prevents the glucose levels from increasing too high, while Glucagon prevents the glucose levels from dropping to very low.

Role of Pancreas, Alpha and Beta cell?
     Pancreas- Is the gland, located in our abdomen. It is part of our digestive system and produces essential digestive enzymes and hormones that help to break down the foods. Also creates the hormone Insulin, which regulates the glucose level in our body.
    Pancreas (islet house) has three major cell types-
1. Alpha cells- secrete the hormone Glucagon.
2. Beta cells- produces Insulin
3. Delta cells- secrete the hormone Somatostatin

1. Alpha cells- Is a type of cell in the pancreas which makes and release the hormone called Glucagon. When our blood glucose level is low, the alpha cells synthesize and produces the hormone Glucagon.
2. Beta cells- One of the vital cell of the pancreas, whose primary function is to produce, store and release the hormone Insulin.

Complications of diabetes?
  There are many complications of diabetes few are-
- Neurological disorder
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Blood vessels disorders
- Eyes, Foot, Skin problems.

Types of diabetes?
1. Type 1 diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes)
2. Type 2 diabetes
3. Gestational diabetes
4. Prediabetes

Treatment for diabetes?
Diabetes can be controlled by controlling the blood glucose/sugar, through oral medications, Insulin and most importantly diet. Blood test, regular screening and discussing about the medicines and dietary management, with your doctor must be done.




*Disclaimer- This article is written to provide only information and general idea.
This article should not be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Please consult your healthcare provider before any diagnosis, treatment or medication.
The statistical information given is taken from internet sources.

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