Characteristic for diabetes mellitus are elevated blood glucose levels which are caused by a reduced or missing insulin production. If somebody suffers from insulin resistance (which is common especially at diabetes type 2) the body contains enough insulin but is unable to use it.
Carbohydrates from nutrition are metabolized into glucose in the body. This glucose is the most important source of energy for normal metabolic procedures. It circulates freely in the body at disposal for the body’s cells; on the other hand unused glucose is stored in the liver or the muscles as glycogen from where it can be released any time.
The hormone insulin which is produced in the beta-cells of the pancreas and released into the blood circulation is the key substance for this process. It enables transport of glucose into the muscle, fat and liver cells and additionally regulates the release of glucose through the liver. This way insulin regulates blood glucose levels. There is no alternate hormone which is able to do this job.
If diabetes has manifested the lack of insulin is the reason that the body is no longer able to metabolize carbohydrates from the food. The body lacks energy and starts catabolising fatty acids. The resulting components – ketones – lead to hyperacidity of the body if the lack of insulin is not treated immediately.
Diabetes is diagnosed through the measurement of the blood glucose. The limit of fasting glucose is 5-6 mmol/l for non-diabetic individuals and not above 8 mmol/l two hours after a meal (if using capillary blood from the fingertip). The method of treatment depends on grade and type of the disease.