Some of the foods we ingest get converted to a type of sugar called glucose. The glucose then enters the bloodstream and is carried to all parts of the body. This is called blood sugar. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. Insulin is a necessary vehicle to drive blood sugar i.e. glucose into the cells. Every cell in the human body must have glucose to properly function.
Diabetes develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin. An imbalance between glucose and insulin occurs. The abundance of glucose circulating in the blood stream deprives the cells throughout the body of much needed glucose. When this occurs, you become at risk for illnesses related to diabetes such as but not limited to neuropathy, high blood pressure, proteinuria and vision problems.
The increased levels of glucose in the blood stream clogs the smaller vessels and nerves. It is this "clog" that diminishes pain signals to the brain. It is important for diabetics to check their feet regularly as they are at risk for ulcers. The delicate blood vessels in the eyes may become damaged by glucose clogs.
Type 2 diabetes may be controlled through a diabetic diet and exercise on a daily and consistent basis. Taking oral medications in addition to diet and exercise will help maintain proper blood sugar levels. Take control of your diabetes. Call your doctor any time you notice changes in your health.
Trisha M. Pacenti RN, BSN