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Diabetes Hub: Guide to Managing Diabetes

National Diabetes Reference Materials - An initiative under the War on Diabetes

Home > Be aware - How Diabetes Develops

How Diabetes Develops

1
Blood sugar levels spike
Blood sugar levels spike when you eat food
rich in sugar and/or refined carbohydrates
Blood sugar levels spike when you eat refined carbohydrates like white rice

White rice

Blood sugar levels spike when you eat refined carbohydrates like mee rebus

Noodles

Blood sugar levels spike when you eat refined carbohydrates like prata

Prata

Blood sugar levels spike when you eat refined carbohydrates and like white bread

White bread

Blood sugar levels spike when you eat refined carbohydrates like kueh

Kueh

Blood sugar levels spike when you drink fruit juices and sweet beverages

Fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages

2
Pancreas works harder
High blood sugar levels cause
your pancreas (insulin factory) to work harder
High blood sugar levels cause your pancreas to work harder

Overworked pancreas

High blood sugar levels cause stress, fatigue and eventually damage your overworked pancreas

Frequent intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates causes stress, fatigue and eventual damage to your constantly overworked pancreas.

Insulin is a hormone that helps to control the blood sugar level in your body.

Frequent intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates causes your pancreas to work harder
3
Excess sugar stored as fat
Excess (unused) sugar in your body is stored
as fat

Where is the fat located?

Diabetes can develop when there are fat under your skin and fat surrounding your organs and muscles
High blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are the consequences of having excess fat in the body

Apple-shaped body

Consequences of excess fat in the body
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

There may be excess fat in your body even if you look thin

Diabetes can develop when there are excess fat in your body even if you look thin
4
Excess internal fat causes damage
Excess internal fat can cause damage
Having no excess internal fats lead to healthy organs

Healthy organs

Having no excess internal fats keep insulin level normal

Normal insulin level

Having no excess internal fats keep blood sugar level normal

Normal blood sugar level

Excess internal fat causes fatty organs

Fatty organs

Excess internal fat causes your pancreas to produce less insulin

Pancreas produces less insulin

Excess internal fat causes high blood sugar level

High blood sugar level

5
Cells less sensitive to insulin
How insulin works in a healthy person

Insulin moves sugar (glucose) into the cells, which is then used to generate energy and maintain normal body functions.

In a healthy person, insulin moves sugar into the cells to generate energy and maintain normal body functions
Excess internal fat makes cells less sensitive to insulin

Body cells cannot sense insulin properly so the pancreas has to produce more insulin to do the same work.

Having excess internal fat and sugar in your blood make cells less sensitive to insulin
Diabetes Hub: Guide to Managing Diabetes