Diabetes is an issue that affects millions of people in the United States. Many people are consuming diets that are not that healthy for them on a daily basis, making it harder to keep their bodies nice and strong and to ensure that they get all the nutrition that they want. Rather than choosing diets that are high in vitamins, minerals, and healthy sources of protein, most Americans are spending too much of their time on processed foods, fast foods, frozen foods, and sweets.
Over time, this can have an ill effect on the body. Our bodies need foods that are healthy and good for us, and if we just keep feeding it processed foods that are bad, full of empty calories, and just plain unhealthy, we will feel it sooner or later. One of the biggest health issues that can result from this type of unhealthy diet is diabetes.
During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is carried to organs through the bloodstream. There are several types of diabetes that we can face, depending on the issue at hand. Diabetes is the result of the body’s blood sugar levels being too high, which is also known as “hyperglycemia”. With Type-1 diabetes, the beta cells in your pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed by either genetics or your immune system. Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin dependent or juvenile diabetes. With this type, your body produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use blood sugar, aka glucose, for energy. Insulin acts like a key for the cells within your body to accept glucose. Without insulin in the case of Type 1 diabetes, the cells cannot allow glucose into the cells to be used for energy. Insulin injections are usually prescribed to manage Type 1 diabetes. Without added insulin, the glucose ends up remaining in the blood stream instead of being used up by the cells in your body, causing high blood sugar, which in turn can cause serious to life-threatening problems.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that happens while a mother is pregnant. This can happen to mothers who are otherwise healthy, and sometimes they will experience it in one pregnancy, even if they haven’t had it in other pregnancies in the past. They will need to work with their doctors to keep this under control for the health of their baby. For the most part, with a good diet and proper care, gestational diabetes will resolve after the baby is born, but it does increase the chances that the mother will develop one of the other forms of diabetes later in her life.
The most common type of diabetes is called insulin-resistant diabetes, or Type-2 diabetes. With this form, the body may be producing the insulin that it needs, but your cells are not using it or responding to it properly. At first, the pancreas notices that the sugars are still hanging around in the bloodstream and will assume that it needs to make some extra insulin to make up for this issue. However, over time, the pancreas will no longer be able to make the amount of insulin that is needed to help keep the glucose levels at a normal level.
Often you will feel the effects of type 2 diabetes because of the diet that you frequently eat. The body is still able to produce insulin in this case, but the cells have become so desensitized to the effects of the insulin, that it is not able to do its job. Think of this like taking a strong antibiotic. You may be able to use it for the first few days to get rid of that cold, but if you took it for three weeks, the body would get used to the effects and become resistant to the drug. The next time that you get sick again, it is unlikely that same antibiotic will continue to work. The same kind of process is occurring when you mistreat your body and the cells become desensitized to all the insulin that is being pumped out to take care of your increased sugar levels.
As we will discuss later on, there are natural methods to reverse diabetes. The first step is to change your unhealthy eating habits. You need to limit the amount of insulin that is being used, which means that your sugar intake needs to go way down, so that the body has some time to repair and be more receptive to the insulin that you are producing. Insulin-resistant diabetes may be the most common form, but it is also the one that you can reverse with the proper diet and lifestyle.
Causes of Insulin-Resistant Diabetes
Now that we know a bit more about insulin-resistant diabetes, the next question that you may have is what causes this form of diabetes. We already know that this is the most common form of diabetes, but why are so many people developing this condition? Am I more likely to suffer from this diabetes because of some risk factors or is it all just random?
Insulin is a hormone that is naturally synthesized within the body. The pancreas produces and releases the insulin when you eat and digest your meals. The insulin is responsible for taking the sugars that you eat and transporting them from the blood to the cells so that this sugar can be used properly for energy production. This is what’s supposed to happen when insulin is working properly and when diabetes is not present.
In Type 2 diabetes, insulin-resistant diabetes, your body does not respond the way that it should to the insulin. The hormone is being produced, but it is not being used efficiently. In the beginning, the pancreas is going to see that the sugars are still in the bloodstream and aren’t being absorbed, so it will try to compensate for this by producing even more insulin. At the same time, the cells may absorb some of it, they are resistant to the insulin and a lot of it remains unabsorbed. Over time, this will start to cause damage to the pancreas and may even result in the pancreas no longer being able to produce any insulin if you don’t receive proper treatments.
When the body isn’t using the insulin in an effective manner, the glucose, or sugar, will start building up in your bloodstream. Even though you are most likely taking in enough calories for energy, the body is going to be starving for more because none of the energy is getting to the cells.
While doctors know about the process of insulin-resistant diabetes, it is still unknown exactly what triggers this series of events. Some studies show that it has to do with dysfunction of the cells inside of the pancreas or with cell signaling and regulation. For some people, the liver may also be producing more glucose, which can worsen the issue. Many times, there are some genetic links to developing this type of diabetes, so if you have someone in your family who is dealing with this issue, you could also end up with Type 2 diabetes at a later time in life, as Type 2 diabetes tends to be genetically inherited.
Even though doctors agree that there is a combination of factors that bring on insulin-resistant diabetes, it is likely that if you have one or more family members who have suffered from this, that you may be predisposed to it, as well. Often, diet has a lot to do with this type of diabetes, because over time, with all that extra sugar along with poor diet, the cells will become resistant no matter how much insulin is produced. It could also be a combination of cell signaling and regulation not working properly.
This is what can make preventing diabetes a bit tricky, because there is not just one single trigger that causes insulin-resistant diabetes. You will need to be responsible for eating properly, listening to your body, exercising and doing other things in order to keep the body functioning properly to avoid issues with this form of diabetes.