What is Diabetes?

             As such Diabetes is not a disease entity. It is a constellation health issues resulting from increased level of blood sugar due to the deficiency of insulin or defective insulin action. . It is a body disorder. The health issues related to diabetes can be acute and life threatening. It can be chorionic and debilitating. It is progressive and silent. Diabetes, to be exact, Diabetes Mellitus, is also having bad name Silent Killer. Diabetes creeps in to all organs in your body and spares none. That is why we have retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and so on.

             Essentially the problem is related to food. The handling of the major item of food, carbohydrate by our body is at stake. The metabolism of other food components also affected. Our food has 5 major components. 1. Carbohydrate. 2. Proteins 3.Fats 4.Vitamins 5. Minerals. By digestion the Carbohydrate is finally converted to glucose; protein to amino acids and fat to fatty acids. Vitamins and minerals used up at different levels. Glucose is the major source of energy to our body. That we get mainly from food items, such as rice, chapathi,iddali, dosa,uppuma,oats, and the like. Other food items also contain carbohydrates,only at lesser proportion. Glucose is metabolised inside the cells and produce energy. Certain organs in our body such as brain cannot go without glucose. Insulin is essential for the transport of glucose in to each cell of our body across the cell membrane. It is a lock and key system where Insulin is the key. If there is absence or deficiency of insulin action there will be chaos. That chaos is Diabetes.

             As already said Insulin facilitate entry of glucose in to cells. If there is deficiency of insulin or inefficient insulin action glucose will start accumulating in blood. There it starts the evils of diabetes. Kidneys filter out the excess sugar and there appears sugar in urine. Along with sugar more water also come out through urine causing excess urination. The more one urinate the thirstier he becomes. Body cells are not getting glucose and one feels hungry. More hungry ,more thirsty, frequent urination, excessive weakness, losing weight. All the symptoms of diabetes are set in. Like it or not you become a member in the diabetic community.

             Insulin is produced by beta cells that are grouped in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas inside the belly. These insulin producing cells were discovered by the scientist Langerhans and are named after him. Pancreas produces insulin in response to rise in blood sugar following food intake, Insulin effectively controls blood sugar. If the pancreas is not able to produce sufficient insulin or there is defective insulin action Diabetes develops.

             Not necessarily one has to have all symptoms or any symptom at all. It may be just an itching in the ear or itching at the private parts that lead to the diagnosis of Diabetes. You went to do a charity by donating blood. The lab people tells you that your blood sugar is slightly high. To your surprise you become a diabetic. Being the parents diabetic you may go for a blood test for sugar. You may test positive for Diabetes. The situation is such that every Indian is a diabetic unless proved otherwise. There are more undiagnosed diabetics than those diagnosed.

©2017 Dr. Kamalasanan

Navabharath Diabetes Care & Research

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