Type II Diabetes
The Insulin Resistance Continuum
If asked, most people would be able to say that diabetes is a condition in which there is too much sugar in the blood. Some may associate finger prick monitoring of blood sugar with diabetes. A few will say insulin has something to do with diabetes. Diabetes is not something that a person wakes up with one day. Diabetes is a process that starts with insulin resistance. Read on to find out more.
Our body typically has between 4 to 5 grams of sugar floating around in our blood stream. If it gets up to 6 grams of sugar diabetes is the result. At 8 grams of sugar a person will go into a diabetic coma. Finally, if sugar goes as high as 9 grams, death will occur. The typical American meal contains 75 grams of sugar. Our bodies are under a tremendous burden to quickly process sugar so it does not climb in the blood stream.
All carbohydrates (including sugar) are broken down into glucose by our digestive tract. When glucose hits the blood stream, the pancreas is stimulated to release insulin. Insulin attaches to cells and stimulates them to open the gates and let sugar into the cell. In the cell sugar is made into ATP which is the fuel of the body. An increase of sugar in the diet leads to an increase in insulin release in the blood.
As sugar intake climbs, insulin rises to keep the blood glucose level in the right range. However, if cells are continually bombarded by insulin due to high sugar levels they will stop responding as quickly. This is called insulin resistance. Your cells resist insulin so glucose climbs higher in the blood. The body panics and release more insulin to get the cells respond and lower the blood sugar. More insulin triggers more cell resistance and the cycle gets worse and worse. The end result is significant cell resistance to insulin, high blood sugar, and thus Type II Diabetes.