Metabolism is defined as the chemical reactions occurring in the body cells that convert food into energy required by our body to do every functions. Specific proteins in our body control the chemical reactions of metabolism and prevent from occurring diabetes. A good metabolism is very important for control over blood sugar and thus diabetes.
Metabolism process in our body digestive mechanism controls the glucose level in blood and thus controls the fatal diabetes.
Metabolism and diabetes control is closely linked to nutrition and the availability of nutrients in the body. Essential nutrients supply energy (calories) and supply the necessary chemicals which the body itself cannot synthesize. Food provides a variety of substances that are essential for the building, upkeep, and repair of body tissues, and for the efficient functioning of the body.
The diet needs essential nutrients like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and around 20 other inorganic elements. The major elements are supplied through carbohydrates, fats and proteins. In addition, vitamins, minerals and water are also necessary.
Metabolism is subdivided into two processes –
The various processes (synthesis) occurring in the body to generate and store energy in tissues is called anabolism.
The various processes occurring in the body to break down the stored energy in tissues is called catabolism.
The minimum amount of energy (calorie) needed for our body is called Basic Metabolic Rate or BMR. Factors like age, sex, muscle mass and our physical activity affect metabolism or BMR.
The speed of metabolism can be said fast or slow depending upon the speed of basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR determines the rate of burning of stored energy sources (i.e. glycogen or fat) to release energy while at rest. About 60%-75% of the calories we take in food get exhausted in simply keeping the body operational. Human body is like a machine that never turns off. It always needs fuel (energy) either running a marathon or sleeping. The organs consuming most of that energy are heart, brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.
Some people have a higher BMR than others. On an average, children below the age of 6 year need double of calorie when at rest as compared to adults. Gradually with increase in age, this calorie requirement goes on decreasing. This is mostly because we tend to become less active as we grow older.
People having fast metabolism can burn calories at faster rate. These people typically require a high-calorie intake to maintain weight such as players, athletes or person doing hard activities. Maintaining a healthy metabolic rate means keeping physically active, following proper nutrition, getting adequate sleep and avoiding stressful situations.
Following are the metabolic processes occurring during digestion, absorption and assimilation of food particles in our body –
- Digestion of Carbohydrates.
- Digestion of Proteins.
- Digestion of Fats.
- Digestion of Minerals.
- Digestion of Vitamins.
These metabolic processes are explained as follows –
Foods in the form of starch, sugar and cellulose (or fiber) yield glucose by digestion or metabolism. The overall reaction for the combustion of glucose is written as –
C6H12O6 + 6 O2 —–> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + energy
This is the main activity of body metabolism and diabetes control.
These elements after digestion, synthesize as amino acids. The human body is unable to synthesize 8 essential amino acids, such as Lysine, Trytophan, Methionine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Phenylalnine, Valine and Threonine.
After digestion, they form into cellular structure, form a protective cushion and insulation around vital organs, absorb fat soluble vitamins and stored as energy packet.
The minerals in foods do not contribute directly to energy needs but are important as body regulators and play a role in metabolic pathways of the body.
These are essential organic compounds that human body cannot synthesize by itself and therefore must be present in the diet. Essential vitamins for metabolism include Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), Niacin or nicotinic acid, Pantothenic Acid.
Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells present in pancreas. Beta cells are very sensitive to the amount of glucose in blood. Normally beta cells have to check the glucose level present in blood most frequently and sense when they need to speed up or slow down the amount of production of insulin they’re making and releasing. Thus beta cells regulates the blood sugar level.
When insulin is released from the pancreas, it travels through the blood stream to body cells and stimulates the cell doors to accept the glucose in. As glucose moves from blood stream into the cells, blood sugar level drops. The beta cells in the pancreas get a sense about it and then they slow down the amount of insulin production.
When we eat something rich in carbohydrates like a piece of bread, the glucose level in the blood rises and the beta cells trigger the pancreas to release more insulin into the blood.
Our body need insulin in order to use or store the glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood stream and thus blood sugar level goes high.
Glucose is vital for health as it is the source of energy for body cells that make up muscles and tissues. Glucose is also the main source of fuel for brain. But, too much glucose or sugar in blood can lead to serious health problems.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease due to poor metabolism that causes high level of blood sugar or glucose. This happens if our body either does not make enough insulin or can not use the produced insulin effectively.
High blood sugar or diabetes if not treated properly, it may damage nervous system, eye vision, kidneys and other vital organs.
Different types of diabetes are –
It occurs when blood sugar is higher than normal level, but it is not as high to be considered as Type 2 diabetes. It is reversible.
It is high blood sugar occurring in females during pregnancy. Insulin blocking hormones produced by the placenta causes this type of diabetes. After baby birth, diabetes disappears. Hence, it is called reversible.
It occurs when our body becomes resistant to insulin and sugar available in blood. Here, body fails to provide feedback to beta cells present in pancreas for controlling the production of insulin.
It is an auto immune diabetes. Here, body immune system attacks to destroy beta cells in pancreas where insulin is produced. About 10% of diabetic people have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are known as chronic diabetic conditions. Reversible diabetic conditions include prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are of main concern. Their signs and symptoms are –
- Increased thirst and frequent urge of urination.
- Extreme hunger.
- Gradual weight loss.
- Presence of ketones in urine (ketones are byproduct produced after breakdown of muscle and fat due to lack of enough insulin)
- Fatigue and irritability.
- Blurred vision and frequent skin infections.
- Slow healing of sores and wounds.