Effect of Diabetes on Metabolism

June 12th, 2013

Diabetes is one of the most widely spread diseases. Across the world 347 million people have diabetes. And it is well known, that the number are bound to rise. Especially the people living in low-income and middle-income countries are more prone to diabetes. The rising number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is a global concern and appeals to all the world citizens to maintain a healthy diet and to exercise in order to keep the body fit.

The first question that comes to mind is, how does diabetes happen? The pancreases produce a hormone, called insulin. The insulin helps to regulate the blood sugar by allowing the glucose from the food one eats to enter the body cells. After one eats a meal, the blood sugar level is high, and thus insulin is secreted to bring the blood sugar level back to normal. It does so by converting the glucose into glucagon, which is stored in the liver, and can be released when the blood sugar levels fall low. Increased blood sugar or excessively low blood sugar can lead to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia respectively, and both these are dangerous and can prove to be fatal in extreme cases. When a person suffers from diabetes, his or her pancreas are affected, meaning that the insulin being produced is either too less or too much.

Diabetes directly affects the metabolism of human beings. The metabolism is the chemical process through which food is converted into energy in the cells of the human body. This energy is used to help to body to continue to live and grow by performing the majors activities by which living organisms are classified. The effects of diabetes on metabolism depend upon the type of diabetes that one has.

People suffering from type-1 diabetes, have low levels of insulin being secreted by their pancreas. This means that the body cells don't receive the required glucose for the process of metabolism. In order to continue to survive, the body burns up its fat reserves to continue its required functions. This makes the individual lose a lot of weight. The excessive loss of weight can have detrimental effects on eye sight and can cause kidney failure. Thus these people need to inject insulin into their blood for their metabolic activity to remain stable.

On the other hand, type-2 diabetes is a case where excessive insulin is secreted into the blood by the pancreas. However, the body is either unable to sense the insulin or is unable to use it effectively. These high insulin levels promote the storage of fat by converting it into glucagon and prevent it from being converted into energy, that is, the process of metabolism is hindered. The fat storage increases the weight of the patient since the body becomes resistant to insulin.

Other than being caused by unhealthy habits, diabetes is also hereditary. Genes cannot be tampered with; however one can choose to lead a healthy life in order to stay hale and hearty. Hence, like the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Is Alzheimer A Type 3 Diabetes?

June 20th, 2013

One of the most hopeless brain conditions that attacks man is Alzheimer. It's a form of dementia which worsens as it progresses. At present, there's no known cure for Alzheimer disease. Pharmaceutical companies around the globe are hard at work in discovering new drugs for its cure, but till now there's no concrete proof that there are drugs that could cure this disease. To better understand how Alzheimer works, here are factual revelations about this haunting disease.

Typecasting Alzheimer as type 3 diabetes

There have been ongoing debates and studies all aimed at classifying Alzheimer as a type 3 diabetes. Many medical societies all over the globe propose that Alzheimer disease should be given the title of type 3 diabetes. The reason for this proposal is based on recent studies regarding the growth of another form of diabetes characterized by factors like resistance to insulin and insulin growth. Comparative studies show that there is a substantial similarity between the disease characteristics of the proposed type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer; this is the reason why there is a prevailing proposal to classify Alzheimer as type 3 diabetes.

Reasons for proposing type 3 diabetes classification for Alzheimer

An in-depth discussion as to the official types of diabetes will give the reader an insight as to why there are many medical institutions pushing for the classification of Alzheimer as type 3 diabetes. At present, there is actually no type 3 diabetes term and classification officially and medically recognized. What the medical society has are proposals for the official classification of Alzheimer as the type 3 diabetes.

Today, there are only three main types of diabetes officially recognized by medical societies around the world. First is the Type 1 DM attributed to the body's failure to produce insulin requiring persons afflicted with this disease to inject insulin. The second type is Type 2 DM which is associated with a condition arising from insulin resistance or even absolute insulin deficiency. The third type is the gestational diabetes suffered by pregnant women without previous diagnosis for diabetes. Now, various medical groups are proposing for the official recognition of a new type of diabetes, the Alzheimer disease as Type 3 DM.

Alzheimer's disease is attributed to the protein misfolding occurring in the brain (proteopathy) caused by abnormal amassing of folded amyloid beta and amyloid tau proteins in the brain. It is essentially characterized by insulin resistance which is one of the signs of persons afflicted with diabetes. Because of this disease property, people suffering from Alzheimer's disease are prescribed to take diabetes drugs to prevent worsening or progress of dementia. In addition to this, most people suffering the worst case of diabetes are eventually afflicted with Alzheimer. The people with diabetes have the greater risk of being attacked by Alzheimer's disease.

The similarities of Alzheimer and diabetes' disease pathology and the fact that Alzheimer patients are given anti-diabetic drugs, are perhaps the underlying reason why there is insistence to classify Alzheimer as type 3 diabetes.