Diabetes is a chronic and complicated metabolic disorder. Once acquired, it is a lifelong friend. Full- fledged diabetes can only be treated and controlled. Till date, there is no cure. Hence, it is important to nip the disease in the bud. Diabetes is usually detected measuring the blood levels of glucose in an individual after overnight fast. The major source for the blood glucose is the liver. The liver stores glucose in the form of a polysaccharide called glycogen. Whenever, there is need for glucose, glycogen is broken down and glucose is released into the circulation. It is to prevent this that overnight fasting is resorted to as this will deplete the liver glycogen.
When the fasting glucose level in the blood is more than 130mgs/dl, the individual is stated to be in a state of prediabetes. Individuals with pre diabetic condition often progress to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is already on the increase throughout the world. This rapid surge in the number of diabetics has been due to environmental and lifestyle changes. What is even more disturbing is the fact that a large number of people in the prediabetic condition are waiting to become diabetics.
It has been observed that people in the pre diabetic state as well as people in who are diabetic tend to be overweight or, obese. Such people have excess body fat. Due to some reason, most of the fat tends to deposit around the abdominal area. Fat is always stored in the body and is a defensive mechanism protecting against starvation. Fat is stored under the skin and is called subcutaneous fat. This fat is not harmful. It is the fat which is stored around the organs which is more dangerous. This fat is called visceral fat.
Hormones and Insulin Resistance
For a long time, the fat cells were believed to be relatively inert. It is known now that the fat cells are metabolically vibrant and also produce several hormones. The important hormones which have been implicated in diabetes are leptin, resistin and adiponectin. Leptin acts in a synergistic fashion with insulin. Adiponectin sensitizes insulin action. Thus, a fall in leptin or, adiponectin could promote the onset of diabetes. Resistin, on the other hand, decreases the sensitivity for insulin. Insulin resistance is a condition where excess insulin may be present, but is unable to act. Thus, too much of resistin or, too little of adiponectin could produce insulin resistance. Insulin resistance usually proceeds to type 2 diabetes.
Getting Out of Pre Diabetes
While diabetes may be incurable, the prediabetic condition may be reversed. The most important requirement for this is a reduction in body weight. Fortunately, insulin resistance is a reversible condition. Insulin resistance decreases as the body weight is reduced. Another factor which contributes to diabetes is the occurrence of inflammatory reactions. Many foods can be classified as inflammatory foods. The best examples in this category are the trans fats. These fats are present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Active life coupled with diets rich in antioxidants could go a long way in removing the prediabetic condition.