What is diabetes?

Diabetes represents one of the most significant disease burdens facing Indian population as the incidence and prevalence of diabetes has gone up multifold in the past few decades.

International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicts that by 2030, India could account for 101.2 million of the world's 552 million patients with diabetes, which indicates that the disease is going to take an endemic status soon.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly use or produce insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas that converts sugar, starches and other food into glucose which is used for our body's energy needs.

It is a common condition and is characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels. One in every five Diabetics in the world is an Indian.

Facts about Diabetes

  • Controllable: Though there is no cure for Diabetes, it can be managed by keeping blood sugar close to normal. This is done with proper meal planning, exercise, and possible medicines.
  • Life-long: Your blood sugar levels should improve with treatment. However, this does not mean that your Diabetes has gone away. It just means your blood sugars are in control.
  • Self-managed: Your doctor will advise and support you, but control depends on you. The choices you make help determine what your blood sugar level will be.
  • Constantly changing: It is common for your doctor to change your medicine or treatment plan over time because your Diabetes changes over time.

What happens when you eat?

  • Some of the food in the stomach breaks down into sugars - one of these sugars is glucose, the body's main fuel.
  • When your body senses an increase in sugar, it sends a signal to your pancreas.
  • The pancreas makes insulin and sends it into the bloodstream.
  • Insulin lowers the level of blood sugar by acting as a key to unlock the body's cells and allows sugar to pass from the bloodstream into the cells.
  • The level of sugar in the bloodstream falls as the sugar passes into the cells.
  • The body's cells use the sugar for fuel.
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