What is Diabetes? Dr Shubham Pant Explains (Photo: istockphoto)
What is Diabetes? Dr Shubham Pant Explains (Photo: istockphoto)
  • 1. What’s Sugar Got to do With It?
  • 2. So what does diabetes have to do with all this?
  • 3. Is Your Lifestyle Making you Predisposed to Diabetes?
Diabetes Explained: A Crash Course in This Morbid Disease

(14th November is observed as the World Diabetes Day. The alarming rate of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in India has experts worried. Nearly two-third children in Indian cities have abnormal blood sugar levels. The World Health Organisation has described the situation an ‘exploding nightmare’)

If you are an Indian, it is impossible that you don’t know someone who has diabetes. Diabetes affects more than 382 million people worldwide. That figure is said to double by 2030.

To put that in perspective, in India, 1 in 20 people have diabetes and 1 in 15 are on the verge of getting the disease.

Diabetes takes more lives annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined and is the leading cause of heart and kidney failure, amputation and blindness.

But here’s the thing, more than a quarter of those who have diabetes in India are not even aware of their condition and that is why it is extremely important to understand the disease. Dr Shubham Pant explains this morbid disease for you.

  • 1. What’s Sugar Got to do With It?

    Well, it all starts with food. Our body is a lot like cars, they need fuel to run. Cars run on petrol and your cells use a simple sugar called glucose.

    What is Diabetes? Dr Shubham Pant Explains (Photo: istockphoto)
    When you eat, your body breaks down the food into components; a part of that is glucose. (Photo: The Quint)

    So when you eat, your body breaks down the food into components; a part of that is glucose. Glucose is our body’s key source of energy – it’s a sugar but not the kind which we put in our chai or coffee. That is sucrose.

    Turning food into glucose is not the final step. It has to get to the cells for it to be used as energy. Cells are dependent on glucose to function. You are able to stand, talk, move your hands because of the body’s simple ability to convert human food into cell food, glucose. While your body digests food, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin meets glucose in the small intestines. Once they are in the bloodstream, your heart pumps it to the rest of the body.

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