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World Diabetes Day 14th Nov 2018



DIABETES AND INSULIN RELATION

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which there is high blood sugar levels over a prolonged length of time. Considered a dangerous lifestyle disease and if left untreated, diabetes can lead to many complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney damage and weak eyesight or blindness.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 415 million people worldwide, suffer from a form of diabetes and this number is only expected to increase. Diabetes doubles the risk of a person’s early death and the economic cost of diabetes is pegged at a staggering USD 612b.

Causes :

There are multiple reasons for diabetes but the most common is a sedentary lifestyle; lack of exercise; unhealthy dietary habits including food with high sugar and preservatives; carbonated beverages; and, sugar sweetened beverages like iced tea and cold coffee.

Over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes. If we understand the cause of the disease, we can approach the treatment in a better way.

There could be 3 main physiological causes for the different types of diabetes :

  • 1. No insulin: Insulin is not produced at all by the pancreas (Type 1 diabetes or Insulin dependent diabetes)
  • 2. Insulin insufficiency – Insulin is being produced in the body but it is not sufficient to bring down blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes)
  • 3. Insulin resistance – Insulin is produced in plenty but due to the metabolic derangements (fat deposition, etc) it is not properly recognized and functional at the cell surface (Obesity and related type 2 diabetes)

One can take the analogy of a gate-keeper at school – Insulin is like the gate-keeper who allows children (glucose) inside the school (body cells) knowing that classrooms are empty. The children fill-up the classrooms and then gate is closed. However, problem arises when –

  • 1. Gate-keeper is absent (No insulin) – Gates (cells) do not open and children (glucose) keep standing outside in large numbers.
  • 2. Gate-keeper is inefficient (insulin deficiency)- Gates are opened for only for short time not allowing all the children to go in.
  • 3. Gate-keeper has changed (Insulin resistance) – The new gate-keeper does not recognize the school children and hence does not allow them in.
  • In all the above cases, glucose is not completely absorbed into the cells and keeps floating in the blood. This leads to high blood glucose or hyperglycaemia. The consequences of this constantly high sugar in the blood is that cells which needed glucose did not get them, so they are instructing the other tissues to release glucose. Glucose will then be removed from the reserves and released into blood. But in the absence of insulin, the glucose will not be able to enter cells and again more and more glucose will remain in circulation. Slowly this glucose starts to spill into the urine.

    On World Diabetes Day, N cold pressed hopes to spread awareness about the role of insulin in manifestation of diabetes. Please do reach out to us for your specific queries/concerns. Our nutritionists will be happy to help.

    Dr. Pooja Singhania is the Head of Nutrition at NColdPressed, a 100% sugar, preservatives and water free range of cold pressed juices. Based in Hyderabad, NColdPressed can be reached at info@ncoldpressed.com and +91 70367 77666