Diabetes and Metabolism: What Are the Results?

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Your metabolism is related to all chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions require energy. The amount of energy they require differs from person to person based on factors like age, body weight, and body composition.

Diabetes disrupts the body’s use of the hormone insulin. This hormone regulates your blood sugar by moving glucose from your bloodstream to your tissues. If left unchecked, diabetes leads to chronically high blood sugar levels, which can damage your organs and blood vessels.

Here we are going to cover how diabetes affects your metabolism and examine the link between diabetes and obesity.

Billions of chemical reactions take place in your body every second. These chemical reactions are collectively known as your metabolism.

Each of these reactions requires energy. Obtaining usable energy from your food also requires energy.

Metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body burns in a given amount of time, usually measured in calories. It has three main components: your basal metabolic rate, the energy burned in digestion, and the energy burned through physical activity.

Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy that your body burns when it is at rest. It varies between people based on factors such as:

  • body weight
  • Age
  • Fat-to-muscle ratio
  • genetics

A 2014 study reviewed the results of studies published between 1920 and 2011 and found that the average metabolic rate was 0.392 calories per pound of body weight per hour. For a 150 pound person, that equates to 1,411 calories a day.

The researchers found that the basal metabolic rate was higher in men than women and lowest in overweight adults.

People with and without diabetes have almost the same metabolism, except for one major difference: People with diabetes have a dysfunction of the hormone insulin.

Typically, after you eat, carbohydrates are broken down by your saliva and digestive system. Once carbohydrates are broken down, they enter your bloodstream in the form of a sugar called glucose. Your pancreas produces insulin, which sends glucose to your cells for energy.

People with diabetes either don’t respond or don’t make enough insulin, or both. This can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body attacks and destroys cells in your pancreas called beta cells that produce insulin. It is usually diagnosed between childhood and young adulthood.

People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin through injections or an insulin pump to lower their blood sugar.

Without insulin, blood sugar levels remain high and can harm your body, leading to complications such as:

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes makes up 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. It occurs when your body becomes insulin resistant.

Insulin resistance is when your cells stop responding to insulin and your blood sugar stays high.

To compensate for insulin resistance, your pancreas produces more insulin. This overproduction can damage the beta cells in your pancreas. Eventually, your pancreas won’t be able to produce enough insulin to lower your blood sugar efficiently.

If your blood sugar levels stay high but are not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes, your condition is known as prediabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults in the US has prediabetes.

Obesity is the leading risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. It is believed to increase your risk at least six times, regardless of genetic makeup.

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of five risk factors that increase your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The risk factors are:

Researchers are still investigating why people with obesity are more likely to develop diabetes than people without obesity. One theory suggests that people with obesity have increased levels of free fatty acids in their blood, which can stimulate insulin secretion and contribute to the development of insulin resistance.

People with diabetes need to take insulin frequently to keep blood sugar levels at normal levels. Insulin is usually taken through injections through pens or syringes. You can also take insulin through an insulin pump that is inserted under the skin.

Another option is inhaled insulin, which you breathe in through your lungs. This type of insulin is quickly absorbed and decays faster too – 1.5 to 2 hours compared to 4 hours for fast-acting injectable insulin.

There are five main types of insulin that help keep blood sugar levels stable. A doctor can help you decide what is best for you.

Taking too much insulin can lead to low blood sugar, which in severe cases can be potentially life-threatening. Long breaks between meals, skipping meals, or exercising can all contribute to low blood sugar levels.

Monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly can help you make informed decisions about foods and medications. Over time, you will develop a better understanding of how your body reacts to certain foods or exercise.

To make it easier to get the right amount of insulin, many people count carbohydrates. If you eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates, especially one with simple carbohydrates, your blood sugar will spike more than eating a meal with fewer carbohydrates, and it will take more insulin to keep your blood sugar in a normal range.

Finding the right diabetes specialist gives you the best chance of keeping your diabetes under control.

A doctor likely has experience treating patients with diabetes and can guide you through your treatment. They can also refer you to a diabetes specialist. Most diabetes specialists are endocrinologists trained in glands and hormones.

A doctor can also help you find a diabetes education program near you so that you can learn the best way to manage your diabetes. Alternatively, you can visit the American Diabetes Association website to sign up for the Living With Type 2 Diabetes program or to access their other resources.

You can benefit from seeing other specialists such as personal trainers or dietitians to help you manage weight. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics search tool allows you to search for nutritionists in your area by zip code.

Diabetes care and education specialists are also a great resource to help you manage diabetes in your daily life, including diet, insulin injections, and learning to use diabetes devices.

Diabetes causes the hormone insulin to dysfunction, which affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. People with type 1 diabetes make too little or no insulin. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond efficiently to insulin, and often the beta cells are unable to produce enough insulin.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendation and take any medication that has been prescribed for you. Constantly high blood sugar can lead to serious complications such as nerve damage, increased risk of infection and cardiovascular disease.