Blood Glucose Levels And Understanding Diabetes

Introduction

Homeostasis is referred to the dynamic equilibrium state of the body which is required to maintain optimal functioning of the organism and includes maintaining different variables such as fluid balance, temperature, hormonal release and others. It is important for the human body to function normally by maintaining narrow variation of different factors as without it the body processes and proteins are not going to function properly. In this assignment, the way blood glucose level is controlled to maintain homeostasis is explained. Further, type 1 and type 2 diabetes disorders are effectively explained to understand the way they develop and can be detected.

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Control of Blood glucose

The blood sugar is the key source of energy that is used by the cells of the body to function properly and maintain homeostasis. In order to maintain proper blood glucose level, insulin and glucagon are the two hormones released by the islets of Langerhans present in the pancreas. The beta cells of islets are involved in releasing insulin and the alpha cells of the islets are involved in release of glucagon hormone and these cells are seen to be clustered together in the pancreas (Röder et al. 2016, p.219). The body cells mainly require glucose for energy but most of them are unable to directly use the glucose. The low levels of insulin are seen to be constantly circulating through the entire body. The rise of insulin indicates the liver that the blood glucose is high and the liver needs to absorb glucose and change it in the form of glycogen to be stored in the body for future use. This is required to avoid loss of glucose from the body and maintain an immediate reserve to maintain proper blood sugar level whenever required by the body.

After the blood sugar level drops, the glucagon signals the liver to convert glycogen into glucose to be released in the body so that the blood sugar level is raised to maintain normal functioning meaning homeostatic state. The insulin indicates the muscle and fat cells of the body to take in glucose from the blood to use it as energy to perform their normal function and maintain homeostasis (Imamura et al. 2016, p.210). This means that glucagon and insulin works in a cycle that is when the blood glucose level drops the glucagon level rises and indicates the liver to release glucose from glycogen. It raises the blood glucose level which lowers glucagon and increases insulin release. The insulin receptors present in the blood indicates the cells to absorb glucose to use it as energy to perform their functioning and execute healing process if any (Thorens, 2015, p.226).

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The condition in which the blood glucose rises includes intake of food with high carbohydrate content. This is because carbohydrates are complex sugar which is broken down into simplest form to form glucose that raises the blood sugar level (Gingras et al. 2018, p.250). The normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100mh/dL and when the blood sugar rises more than this the pancreas is indicated to produce glucagon that indicates the liver to change extra glucose into glycogen to be stored in the body (Dempsey et al. 2017, p.500). The blood glucose level also rises when the body is inactive as the body cells do not require energy by breaking down glucose which results the blood sugar level to rise. The side effects of medication, stress, dehydration and type 1 and 2 diabetes are involved in raising the blood sugar level. The lack of intake of proper food or food of low carbohydrate content lowers the blood glucose level. This is because no carbohydrate or complex sugar is present in the body that can be broken down to produce glucose. The intake of alcohol, side effects of medications, type-1 diabetes (too much insulin production lowers blood glucose level) and intensive physical exercise are involved in lower blood glucose level. This is because during physical exercise the body cells require increased energy and they use glucose for the purpose lowering the blood sugar level (Brunström and Carlberg, 2016, p.717).

In the UK, the number of people diagnosed with either type-2 or type-1 diabetes includes 3.5 million as per 2018. Moreover, it is predicted that 549,000 people in the UK are still undiagnosed who are suffering from diabetes. Thus, on including the total number of diagnosed and undiagnosed people with type-1 or type-2 diabetes in UK it can be estimated that there are more than 4 million people suffering the disorder in the country. It represents that 6% of the UK population is affected by diabetes (www.diabetes.co.uk, 2018). This indicates that there is high prevalence and inadequate awareness regarding the disorder among the UK population. It is evident as still there are wide number of people in UK who are still undiagnosed but suffering from diabetes making the disorder deteriorate their health without concern. In international context, it is estimated that 415 million individuals are suffering from diabetes which can be estimated that 1 in every 11 people is suffering from the disorder. It is expected that the diabetes statistics over the world is going to rise to 642 million people being affected by the health disorder worldwide by 2040 (www.diabetes.co.uk, 2018). This indicates that the prevalence of diabetes in going to increase with time in the UK as well as in the international context which makes it a vital health disorder to be taken care off to control it from spreading.

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The Type-2 diabetes is the commonest form of diabetes which is a chronic problem in which the blood glucose level cannot be regulated. At first, the body cells in this condition become resistant to insulin which causes them to fail to absorb glucose from the blood to be used as energy. This insulin resistance results the body to produce more insulin for moving the extra sugar into the body cells as too much sugar is staying in the blood. As time goes, the cells being insulin resistant unable to use glucose demands more insulin but the pancreas fails to make enough insulin to keep up which results to fail in maintaining homeostatic state of the body by controlling blood sugar level (Palmer et al. 2016, p.320).

The type-2 diabetes can either be hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic meaning there may be increased blood sugar or lower glucose than normal. In hypoglycaemic state in type-2 diabetes, signs and symptoms include feeling dizziness, difficulty in concentration, sleepy, physically weak, irritable, vision changes, sweating and others (Mohammadi et al. 2015, p.521). In hyperglycaemic state in type-2 diabetes, the signs include tiredness, frequent urination, very thirsty, blurry vision and others (Chatterjee et al. 2017, p.2239). The diagnosis of type-2 diabetes includes glycated haemoglobin (1C) test in which the blood is tested to understand the average blood sugar level for past few months. The normal level in the test is lower than 5.7% and the result between 5.7-6.4% is considered prediabetes condition and above 6.4% is considered diabetes state. In case the A1C test is unavailable, the doctor performs other tests such as random blood sugar test, oral glucose tolerance test or fasting blood sugar test to diagnose presence of diabetes. In random blood sugar test, the test is executed after eating at any time and not in fasting condition. In case the blood sugar level is above 200 mg/dL then the person is regarded to be suffering from diabetes (d’Emden et al. 2015, p.90). The fasting blood sugar test is executed in fasting condition and the level higher than 125 mg/dL is considered diabetes state (Bertin et al. 2016). In oral glucose test, the test is done after fasting overnight and taking a sugary drink before the test. The blood sugar level in this test below 140 mg/dL is regarded normal but above 200 mg/dL is considered diabetic state (Babbar et al. 2018, p.82).

The treatment for type-2 diabetes includes increased physical activity, intake of oral drugs to maintain blood sugar level, diabetic eating plan, taking diabetic injection, weight loss and others. The exercise and increased physical activity are required in type-2 diabetes to make the cells more insulin sensitive so that they can take in extra glucose from the blood and use them to produce energy, in turn, lowering blood glucose level. The medication provided acts as artificial insulin to help the cells absorb glucose from the blood when the pancreas can produce no more insulin (Rubino et al. 2016, p.1145).

In type-1 diabetes, the body becomes unable to produce enough insulin that supports the absorption of glucose from the blood by the body cells to be used as energy. In this nature of diabetes, the immune system attacks the islets cells of the pancreas that impairs them to be slow and later unable to produce insulin in normal amounts required by the body. The type-1 diabetes is common more in children than in adults but can occur at all stages. The signs and symptoms related to type-1 diabetes often includes frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst, blurred vision, weight loss, tired and fatigue and others (Beyerlein et al. 2016, p.1901). The management of the symptoms of type-1 diabetes may result in diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, diabetic neuropathy, etc.

The diagnosis available for type-2 diabetes is similar to type-1 diabetes where A1C test, random and fasting blood sugar test is done to identify diabetes. After this, in order to distinguish type 1 and 2 diabetes, the doctor conducts blood test in which presence of autoimmune bodies would confirm type-1 diabetes. Moreover, the presence of ketones as by-product from the fat breakdown in the urine test also confirms that it is type-1 rather than type-2 diabetes (Fisher et al. 2016, p.1590). The patients suffering from type-1 diabetes are required to regularly take insulin as the body loses the capacity to longer produce it. In case of insulin shock, the immediate administration of insulin injection would prevent from deteriorated effect on the body of the patient. Moreover, the treatment includes intake of increased carbohydrate, fat and protein content foods, maintaining healthy weight, exercising regularly and others (Orchard et al. 2015, p.45).

The key difference between type 1 and 2 diabetes is that in type-1 the body permanently losses the ability to produce insulin whereas in type-2 the body still has the ability to produce insulin but do not make enough to maintain normal blood glucose level. The type-1 develops mainly at the early age during childhood whereas the type-2 develops mostly after 45 years of age. The type-1 is hereditary and mainly occurs due to mutation in genes whereas in type-2 diabetes high blood pressure, obesity, overweight and other acts as risk factors.

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Conclusion

The above discussion informs that insulin and glucagon are the key hormones released by the pancreas which helps in controlling the blood sugar level. In type-1 diabetes, the immune system impairs the insulin production and in type-2 diabetes, the body cells become insulin resistant that results in disrupting the normal blood sugar level causing diabetes. The type-1 diabetes has no cure and needs the patient to take insulin injection for lifetime whereas as type-2 diabetes healthy lifestyle and intake of medication is able to manage the blood sugar level to normal to maintain homeostasis of the body.

References

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