How 'disruptive metabolism' increases prevalence of diabetes

A metabolically damaged body leads to structural and functional damage of the beta cells, which raises the condition of insulin secretion and insulin resistance

Dr Maluk Mohamed September 13, 2022 10:00:57 IST
How 'disruptive metabolism' increases prevalence of diabetes

India is unfortunately known as the diabetes capital. Image courtesy Pixabay

Diabetes is a condition and not a disease. The actual disease is disruptive metabolism. Metabolism refers to the multiple biochemical reactions carried out by our body cells to convert food into energy. These biochemical reactions require a lot of energy, and the energy consumed differs from person to person depending on the factors such as age, body weight, and body composition. In addition, they occur continuously, making metabolism very complex. Thus the metabolism of any person does not remain constant and varies from person to person.

During these complex processes, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. Having stated that every individual’s metabolism keeps changing at every interval of time, it is not the same. Given the dynamic nature of metabolism, precisely measuring the disruption becomes a real challenge, and there is no way to measure this continuously changing metabolism.

However, before we look at how to deal with this condition, let’s understand how disruptive metabolism impacts our body, and progresses into diabetes and other severe conditions.

A metabolically damaged body leads to structural and functional damage of the beta cells, which raises the condition of insulin secretion and insulin resistance. This condition is referred to as Glucotoxicity. Similarly, it also leads to cellular dysfunction caused by a persistently high free fatty acid, and this condition is referred to as Lipotoxicity. Glucotoxicity and Lipotoxicity in your blood can cause damage to the entire cellular system, thereby damaging the liver and pancreas.

Keeping this in mind, diabetologists have no option except to treat the most common symptom, high blood sugar. This is done through tablets and injections to ensure the smooth functioning of metabolic activities. High blood sugar is the most acute symptom as it makes the blood thick and the blood circulation slow, thus disturbing the functioning of the organs and making them weak. As a result, the whole body suffers from inflammation, damaging the kidneys and the liver. Furthermore, Diabetes generally progresses to high blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, and liver failure.

Diabetes is also a leading cause of multi-organ complications, broadly divided into microvascular and macrovascular complications. These complications cause increased premature morbidity and mortality among individuals with Diabetes. It further leads to reduced life expectancy and financial implications that cause a profound economic burden. Based on a recent report by WHO, diabetes was the 9th leading cause of morbidity and the number of direct deaths.

Now that we understand the impact of this condition, it is advised to go for regular blood testing to diagnose diabetes, prediabetes, or gestational diabetes. Some people may be asymptomatic in the initial stages but are still vulnerable. You may have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are older than 35, overweight, obese, or a woman with gestational siabetes. However, developing type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Adults and children diagnosed with prediabetes should be tested for type 2 diabetes every year.

As per recent studies, in 2019, estimations showed that 77 million individuals had diabetes in India, which is expected to rise to over 134 million by 2045. Type 2 diabetes, which constitutes 90 per cent of all cases of diabetes, has become a major cause of disability and death, affecting even the younger age group.

Since the last decade, the positive trajectory of digital health has proved the emergence of diabetes remission through normalizing sugar levels by cutting the source of sugars through dietary programs. However, in recent years advancement in technology has made precision treatment possible, proving that diabetes remission through measuring the disruptive metabolism and offering precision treatment can ensure a holistic transformation of the human body.

A consensus report by the American Diabetes Association and European Association for the Study of Diabetes presented expert opinions on the possibility of precision diagnostics and treatment of type 2 diabetes. In addition, the study suggests the scope of prediction of treatment response and progression of type 2 diabetes through clinical features.[3]

The author is Co-founder, Vice President of Research & Head of India Business, Twin Health. Views are personal.

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