Diabetes Part 2

The 2 types of diabetes are:

Type 1 Diabetes is an insulin dependent diabetes, and it is an autoimmune disease. That means that the body’s immune system attacks normal working cells and tissues.

In T1D the body attacks its insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. When the number of beta cells diminishes to a certain level, the body is unable to produce enough insulin to control blood glucose therefore blood glucose rises, hyperglycemia develops and diabetes is the result.

People with T1D struggle to regulate blood glucose levels. When a person with T1D continues to eat, especially food containing carbs, blood sugar levels rise uncontrollably in the blood and urine. Consequently, the cells of the body are deprived of their primary fuel source – glucose. To compensate for the lack of glucose inside cells, the body resorts to creating energy from amino acids and fat.  Even though glucose is elevated, it cannot get into cells due to a lack of insulin. Consequently, the cells are starved of their primary fuel source and must resort to other measure for fuel.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes today and typically indicates 2 key problems:

  • Insulin resistance: the muscle, liver and fat cells do not use insulin properly
  • Reduced insulin production: glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine and is excreted out of the body, never fulfilling its role as a body’s main source of fuel.

Other diabetic hormones worth knowing about

GLP – 1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) are a group of hormones released from the gut. They stimulate insulin secretion while decrease the production of glucagon. GLP-1 also slows down the rate at which the stomach empties, and also signals the brain to make us feel full or satisfied.

Amylin: it is produced alongside insulin and has a similar effect to GLP -1. It reduces glucagon levels and also reduces the liver’s ability to produce glucose and decreases appetite. In T1D with absent or malfunctioning beta cells the hormones insulin, amylin and GLP-1 cannot work properly. It is available as medication.

Cortisol: the stress hormone. A life-sustaining steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands. It plays a key role in helping stabilise blood glucose levels by stimulating the:

  • Breakdown of stored glucose in the liver
  • Production of glucose from fatty acids
  • Breakdown of protein, often from skeletal muscle

It also serves other roles within the body:

  • Mental clarity
  • Immune responses
  • Anti-inflammatory actions
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
  • Central nervous system activation

Cortisol levels tend to be their highest first thing in the morning.

Ephinephrine (adrenaline) released from the adrenals and nerve endings works as a counter insulin hormone by stimulating the liver to release glucose via the breakdown of glycogen or glycogenelysis. It also promotes the breakdown of fat cells that make their way to the liver for transformation into glucose and ketones.

Growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland in the brain. It also acts as a stress hormone that raises the concentration of glucose and free fatty acids in the blood. It opposes the action of insulin.









Source: Phil Graham: Diabetic Muscle