Carbohydrates are broken down by our body to produce glucose, there by increasing the blood glucose levels.
As soon as the blood glucose levels increases beyond a point, the pancreas produce a hormone – Insulin. Insulin removes glucose from the blood and transport it into the body cells to be used as energy.
How does Insulin work?
The carbohydrates in your food is broken down and enters the blood stream as glucose.
Once the blood glucose levels reaches a certain level, Pancreas secrete Insulin hormone which is the ‘key’ that opens the cell walls to store the glucose
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition when the blood sugar (glucose level) increases beyond a particular level and body is unable to control the same. This could happen because of two reasons –
- Not enough insulin produced by Pancreas (Type 1 Diabetes)
- Insulin (‘Key’) is not efficient in removing glucose from the blood (Type 2 Diabetes)
Type 1 Diabetes – In type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin as the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are either destroyed or not efficient. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed at a younger age, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day
Type 2 Diabetes – This is the most common for of diabetes, in which the insulin is not efficient in reducing the blood glucose levels. (the ‘key’ is not efficient in opening the cells to store the glucose). Quite logically, this happens when the cells are less responsive to the insulin hormone i.e the insulin sensitivity is low!
Such a resistance to insulin by the cell (known as insulin resistance) makes the hormone less efficient in bringing the sugar levels down in the blood stream.
The bad news is, Type 2 diabetes if not taken care for a longer duration can even convert to a Type 1 form!
Can Diabetes be cured?
Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured and requires external insulin dosage for the rest of the life. However, Type 2 diabetes can be managed to a great extend (and in some cases nearly reversed) through a proper lifestyle management.
The most important factor that will help manage diabetes to a great extend is an improved body composition – i.e reduced body fat and/or increased lean body mass.
As the lean body mass (muscle mass) increases, while the body fat percentage reduces, the metabolic parameters of the body improves. This in turn improves the insulin sensitivity of the cells, there by reducing the insulin resistance of the cells – the insulin (key) can now easily open the cells to store glucose, there by regulating the blood sugar levels much efficiently.
For improving lean body mass, one should do two things – (i) a structured diet with right amount of calories and macro nutrients (ii) resistance training!
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