Understanding diabetes

20/12/2017
Decoded content
20/12/2017

What is diabetes ?

Diabetes occurs when the body no longer produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone made naturally in the pancreas that helps move sugar contained in food from the bloodstream into the muscles, liver and adipose tissue, which are then responsible for converting it into energy and / or storing it.
When glucose in the blood is high, the pancreas detects and releases insulin which converts glucose into energy and/or reserves for the body.
In diabetics, the insulin production system no longer functions or organs no longer respond to the insulin produced. Glucose in the blood is no longer controlled and high levels in the blood can be reached after food intakes.
High blood sugar can cause great damage to the body especially to the heart, kidneys, eyes and nervous system.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1, which concerns one in 10 diabetics. It requires daily insulin injection treatment; it’s called insulin-dependent because the pancreas no longer produces insulin.
Type 2, usually linked to overweight and physical inactivity; it’s called non-insulin dependent because the pancreas produces and releases insulin albeit in insufficient quantities. In parallel, organs become resistant to its effect and are unresponsive.
Treatment is based on antidiabetic drugs, diet and physical activity.

A widespread disease in the developed world.

Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic diseases in developed countries: it is often described as a major public health problem linked to eating habits and populations with sedentary lifestyles. 90% of cases of diabetes concern Type 2 diabetes. Its increase in the population is of the order of more than 3% per year, according to figures from the French Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Worldwide, there are about 371 million diabetics. WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. Until now, patients with Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 had no hope of recovery. While treatments exist, they are mainly used to manage the disease on a daily basis, with some patients at best stabilized or in remission.