The Causes and Effects of Diabetes
The pancreatic cells, more specifically the beta cells, are responsible for the production of insulin. As mentioned, insulin regulates the concentration of glucose in the blood by opening “glucose channels” in the cell walls of the cell so glucose can enter.
Once inside the cell, glucose is converted to energy which is used for the hundreds of cell functions.
In diabetes, either one of two scenarios may happen:
- Insulin is incapable of opening the “glucose channels” in the cell wall, preventing glucose to enter the cell.
- The beta cells of the pancreas is not producing sufficient amounts of insulin.
These abnormalities cause the concentration of glucose in the blood to rise. This condition leads to a hosts of metabolic imbalances which produces the symptoms mentioned above.
In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells that produce insulin. See figure below.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells in the body do not respond to insulin.
The figure below shows that once insulin binds with its receptor on the cell wall, a series of events happen leading to the opening of glucose channels where glucose can freely pass through.
The insulin receptors in type 2 diabetes is inflamed or damaged and is unable to bind with insulin. As a result, glucose channels remain unopened and glucose accumulates in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes is a mixture of cellular dehydration, nutrient starvation (vitamin/mineral deficiencies), insulin resistance, lack of glucose balance, toxicity, and oxidative stress that impacts and damage the majority of cells in the body. These can result to a weakened immune system. Put simply, type 2 diabetes is a lot more than just a blood sugar disorder.
Understanding this makes you aware that controlling your blood sugar is just one part to handle and overcome your diabetes.
Insulin resistance and cellular inflammation work together by means of a positive feedback loop, creating more cell damage and keeping your body’s cells from efficiently utilizing the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Stated another way, the insulin receptors on the cell wall of a damaged cell ignores insulin in the blood and is unable to assist glucose’s entry to the cells (insulin resistance).
As progressively less glucose enters the cell, it accumulates to a damaging level in the bloodstream. This condition is called hyperglycemia. The cells get deprived of energy, which can make you feel tired.