Diabetes Basics

Glucose And Insulin: The Diabetic Connection

Glucose is our prime source of energy. During digestion, it is produced as a result of conversion of carbohydrates into a chemical that can be easily converted in to energy. Our body gets most of the glucose by digesting the sugar and starch present in carbohydrates. Foods such as rice, pasta, grain, potatoes, fruits, a few vegetables, and processed sweets are known to be rich in carbohydrates. Our digestive system, using bile and enzymes breaks down the starch and sugar available in these foods into glucose. This functional form of energy thereafter enters into the bloodstream.

A chemical known as insulin, excreted by the pancreas, meets the glucose and helps it to enter cells in muscles and brain. So, it is a vital form of energy which interacts with both- the digestive and endocrine system. Hence, keeping glucose within a normal range is very important for good health. All the same, at any step in the process, there can arise problems in keeping the right amount of glucose circulating in the blood.

But, sometimes it happens that pancreas do not produce required amount of insulin to regulate the glucose and sometimes insulin is unable to use glucose in the proper manner. The lack of insulin in the body directly leads to the development of type 1 diabetes. And when the insulin is produced by the pancreas adequately but the body is unable to use that insulin in proper manner then there occurs type 2 diabetes.

There is also another type of diabetes that occurs because of insulin disturbances. It is the gestational diabetes. It occurs due to production of certain hormones that have blocking effects on the insulin. Insulin is therefore the prime connection and cause of all types of diabetes.