Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a group of chronic conditions that cause high levels of sugar to build up in the blood due to insufficient insulin production, resistance to insulin, or a combination of the two.


 Why does it happen?

After ingesting foods, the body has a process to break down sugars and starches into simple sugar (glucose) which is then used as energy.


The normal process of glucose entering the cells:

1.When foods containing carbohydrates are ingested, they are broken down in the digestive tract as simple sugars that absorbed in the intestine wall;
2.The simple sugars travel to the liver and are converted into glucose;
3.The glucose enters the blood stream, and flows through the body;
4.The pancreas notices that there is glucose in the blood and releases insulin; 
5.The insulin allows glucose to move from the bloodstream into cells;
6.Once glucose enters cells it can be used as energy for bodily processes.

For individuals with diabetes, the glucose in the blood is not able to enter cells so it builds up in the blood. This occurs due to:

•Insufficient amounts of insulin released by the pancreas (insulin dependent)
•An inability for cells to "accept" the glucose in the blood stream (poor insulin sensitivity)
•A combination of the two


Over time, unmanaged diabetes can result in adverse health effects such as heart, eye and kidney disease. 

Course: Understanding Diabetes
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