The human body comprises different bodily processes, and one of them is metabolism. What does metabolism mean? What is the series of actions involved in this process? And in what way is this mechanism related to diabetes? Read on to learn more.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is a type of bodily process that involves three major purposes. One of these purposes includes converting the food you consume into energy. This mechanism is not just applicable to humans but also to all living things. This significant bodily process helps in maintaining life’s normal functions.
For many, the term metabolism is associated with concerns about someone’s weight. People would claim that they cannot lose weight since their metabolism acts very slow. While this issue may have a little truth, there are other important elements related to weight regulation that says otherwise.
Because metabolism plays a vital role in all the chemical reactions of the human body, it is somehow linked with diabetes. The chemical reactions involved in the said mechanism demand the right quantity of energy, while the glucose intake of the body is also converted into energy or sugar, which is crucial to people who have abnormal levels of blood glucose.
As what you’ve known already, when diabetes occurs, the usage of insulin becomes disrupted. This phenomenon can lead to various health complications, most especially if the condition is not properly treated. The levels of blood sugar become abnormally high, which can be very dangerous.
How does the process of metabolism work?
Consider the flow of the metabolism process and identify how it affects the blood sugar levels, specifically for individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
- Consumption of food.
- Carbohydrates, being one of the nutrients present in most food, is converted into glucose.
- Once glucose is already available, it goes down the bloodstream.
- Because food is consumed, the pancreas then functions by releasing insulin.
- When insulin is already released, it assists the glucose in entering the cells.
- The glucose stored in cells is later used for energy.
- Aside from the cells, insulin also assists the glucose to enter the muscles for energy consumption.
- If, in any case, a good amount of glucose is still existent inside the bloodstream, the insulin converts the remaining glucose into fat.
The process above portrays the main function of metabolism. Since it involves the usage of insulin, it is already connected to the body’s levels of blood sugar. If there is balance in all these mechanisms, there is no way that diabetes can emerge and cause harm.
Relationship between metabolism and diabetes
In differentiating metabolism and diabetes, there is one factor to keep in mind – the function of the hormone insulin. Why is this so? Insulin plays a significant part in the condition of the body’s blood sugar. If a person is obese, more insulin is needed, but it can also affect how the body’s metabolism functions. However, you must also know that if the insulin supply surges, the body of an obese diabetic person can become resistant to insulin.
One of the major complications related to metabolism is metabolic syndrome. This is usually common to individuals who are overweight. It involves different health factors that are highly capable of bringing about different medical dilemmas. Some of these include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, an excessive amount of fat, high levels of triglyceride, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. Some of the complications linked to this syndrome are type 2 diabetes, stroke or diabetic coma, and heart problems.
The explanation above supports the fact that obesity increases someone’s risk of acquiring diabetes. It minimizes the functions of insulin, which are considered a necessity in balancing the levels of blood glucose.
Insulin medications and metabolism
You must also note that your regular insulin medications can affect how metabolism functions within the body. This is also one of the reasons why your healthcare professional requires you to conduct your daily blood sugar monitoring. This will tell you the right amount of insulin to consume on a day without worrying about the impact of this treatment on the body’s metabolism process.
Some insulin medications should be consumed 30 – 45 minutes before your mealtime, while some also are to be performed during bedtime. Whatever the type of insulin medication you are following, making sure that it will not affect the status of your blood sugar levels is already good.
Note that excessive insulin intake can also cause hypoglycemia. This condition is dangerous as it can cost you your life. Also, if you are in insulin treatment, do not skip your meals. It is also not recommended to do fasting, as it can only contribute to the condition. Furthermore, always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional. A regular visit to the clinic will also help to know how your condition improves and how you can better manage your illness.