How diabetes develops | Diabetes Hub

Learn how Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes develop, and why it often lead to harmful fat in our bodies.

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How diabetes develops

About insulin

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

It is produced by beta cells in one of our organs called the pancreas (insulin factory).

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


How Type 1 diabetes develops

Body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas (insulin factory). The body is unable to produce sufficient insulin.
Without insulin, the body is unable to move glucose from the bloodstream into the body cells to use for energy. As a result, blood sugar levels remain high.

How Type 2 diabetes develops

Frequent intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates causes blood sugar levels to rise, forcing the pancreas (insulin factor) to work harder to produce more insulin to control blood sugar levels.
As the body does not require this excess sugar for energy, it is converted and stored as fat. If there is excess fat in the body, the body cells do not respond well to insulin. More insulin is needed to move sugar from the bloodstream into body cells, further stressing the pancreas.
Over time, the overworked pancreas becomes damaged and produces less insulin, making it harder to keep blood sugar levels normal.

Effect on your pancreas

High blood sugar levels cause your pancreas (insulin factory) to work harder.

Eating food high in sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise, forcing the pancreas to produce more insulin to control blood sugar level.

High blood sugar levels cause your pancreas to work harder.
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Excess (unused) sugar in your body is stored as fat

Where is fat stored?
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There may be excess fat in your body even if you look thin

Thin outside, fat inside
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You are likely to have excess internal fat if you have an apple-shaped body.


Excess internal fat can cause problems

Fat surrounding internal organs, and those which enters organs and muscles, can lead to inflammation and damage of body cells. It can also damage the pancreas and other organs.

  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL-cholesterol
  • Low HDL-cholesterol
  • High triglycerides

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