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20

May

2019

The Truth About Diabetes

Khris Ramdeen

     Before we talk about diabetes it's important to understand that when we ingest carbohydrates or sugars there enzymatically broken down into the building block glucose. The glucose is then absorbed by our digestive tract into the bloodstream and then the pancreas secretes insulin to pull that blood sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. Now in diabetes the blood sugar remains elevated. 

     Why? Because either the pancreas is not secreting enough insulin or the body is resisting the effects of the insulin that is there. In other words, insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes patients tend to not produce insulin and so this one tends to be diagnosed earlier in life and type 2 Diabetes insulin resistance occurs over time. Usually as a result of a carbohydrate rich diet and a lack of exercise when you have diabetes this can affect your blood vessels, both large blood vessels and small blood vessels. 

     The large blood vessel or macro vascular complications tend to be in the arteries leading to the heart because of plaque building up on the walls of those arteries. Now this is coronary artery disease in the setting of atherosclerosis. Also the small blood vessels can be affected by diabetes in a way that can cause you problems or retinopathy kidney problems to cause nephropathy and even nerve problems to cause neuropathy. 

     Now the neuropathy tends to result in decreased sensation starting in your feet and then ending up in your hands. This is why we have the term stocking glove distribution of neuropathy. It's important to note that 10 to 18 percent of patients who are newly diagnosed with diabetes already have neuropathy. This suggests that the neuropathy is beginning in the face before diabetes or in pre-diabetes which can only be diagnosed on lab testing that you need to do as part of a preventive care plan with your physician.