Diabetes is diagnosed when there is excessive sugar in the blood. This is extremely dangerous because it interferes with the normal functioning of the body because it sticks to proteins. This can result in many different forms of ill-health.
In a healthy person, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin. This has the capability to keep the blood sugar under control so that the concentration does not increase to dangerous levels. Much of it goes to liver where it is utilised.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas has been damaged and is therefore unable to produce sufficient insulin to cope with all the sugar in the blood. This damage can be caused by a number of different factors.
Sugar and carbs the enemies for Type 1 and Type 2
In Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), the pancreas has been damaged by another disease/agent so that insulin cannot be produced. The reasons for this attack on the pancreas are still not known. It is very often diagnosed in children but adults can also contract Type 1. It is not reversible and the person can only survive if insulin is administered frequently.
In the overwhelming majority of cases T2D is caused by the regular and persistent consumption of diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. The predominant carbohydrate is starch, which is broken down to sugar during digestion.
The main sources of starch include foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes and bread/flour. Currently these are being promoted as “healthy” by the NHS and Public Health England.
A diet which has a high content of sugar and carbohydrates will place great demands on the pancreas to produce insulin. If this continues for many years, the pancreas eventually gets “worn out” and can no longer produce sufficient insulin.
As a consequence, the blood sugar concentration rises. It is only at this point that T2D is diagnosed.