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Understanding type 2 diabetes
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James Offline

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Understanding type 2 diabetes
Do type 2 diabetics get given insulin from the health service or are they able to just manage their condition with diet and exercise alone?

I just wondered, as they say type 2 are the insulin resistant type, what actual use giving them insulin would be, as surely they are giving them a treatment they are resistant to, or am I wrong?

I know this is confusing since most people think of diabetics not producing insulin. But that is not really the case.

There are actually several forms of diabetes. But we most often hear about type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is actually rare, and technically includes subtypes such as alloxan induced, induction by other chemicals such as anesthesias, and trauma induced type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 though is far more common making up about 95% of the cases of diabetes. In the early onset of type 2 diabetes there is actually too much insulin being produced by the pancreas. This is because the insulin response is dependent on glucose levels, not insulin levels. In order for insulin to do its job the insulin must first latch on to cellular insulin receptors allowing the cells to uptake the glucose. In early onset type 2 diabetes these insulin receptors are closed so the insulin cannot do its job ("insulin resistance"). Again the insulin response is glucose dependent. Therefore, the pancreas senses the elevated glucose due to the insulin not doing its job. Insulin levels are not monitored and therefore in response to the still elevated glucose the pancreas kicks out more insulin creating in essence an insulin overload.

Another fact few people realize about diabetes is that many of the serious side effects of diabetes are from the elevated insulin, not the elevated glucose. For example, the diabetic retinopathy, the kidney failure, gangrene and much of the heart disease all stems from insulin damage. In normal to low levels of insulin the insulin has a dilating effect on blood vessels. In high levels though insulin has the exact opposite effect and instead creates a powerful blood vessel constricting effect. This leads to rupturing of micro-blood vessels in the tissues leading to retinopathy, kidney failure and gangrene and damage to larger blood vessels leading to inflammation that leads to heart disease.

Over time though both the elevated glucose and some diabetes medications can damage the insulin producing islet cells preventing the person from producing their own insulin or at least enough it. At this point type 2 diabetics are put on insulin in conjunction with the oral hypoglycemic drugs they have been taking if their diabetes was severe enough to begin with.

If the diabetes is not that severe then it can often be dealt with by weight loss and diet. Chromium supplementation is also essential as it is chromium that keeps the insulin receptors open. Chromium polynicotinate is the best choice as it is 300 times more effective than chromium picolinate but costs the same. I also recommend magnesium malate since it plays various roles in diabetes treatment including insulin production, inulin sensitivity and helping prevent insulin damage.

As for why they give insulin in the late stages there are a couple of reasons.

One is that the person still needs insulin so they have to supply what the pancreas is no longer producing.

And insulin has other functions such as vitamin C transport.

Doctors also think that if the insulin is used in conjunction with the oral hypoglycemics that help sensitize the cells to insulin that this can help by in essence "force feeding" the cells with glucose by excess levels of insulin. Obviously that is rarely the case as diabetics tend to get worse over time despite the medications.
04-15-2015 08:08 PM
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