When someone has diabetes, the glucose in the bloodstream can’t enter the muscles to be used as energy, or into fat tissues to be stored. So it stays in the bloodstream and builds up there.
There are two main reasons why someone would have excess amounts of glucose in their bloodstream. Based on these reasons, we can distinguish between two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin because the body attacks the beta-cells in the pancreas, preventing your body from producing insulin. Glucose needs to exit the bloodstream and enter your cells to be burnt off as energy. Insulin is like a key in this process. If your body doesn’t produce insulin, glucose cannot get through the locked cell doors. Since glucose can’t enter the cells, your body doesn’t get the energy or nutrients it needs and becomes weak. A type 1 diagnosis is most prevalent in children and young adults but could be diagnosed at any age. It’s a lifelong condition.
Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age; but it mainly develops in middle-aged people. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body’s cells become resistant to the insulin. Unlike type 1, people with type 2 diabetes do produce insulin but their cells are not able to utilize it efficiently or effectively. In this case, the key (insulin) is present but the door’s keyhole is missing.
Since glucose cannot enter the cells, glucose builds up in the bloodstream. The pancreas recognizes the increased glucose, but doesn’t realize that it’s caused by an insulin insensitivity. So the pancreas increases insulin production thinking that the problem is a lack of insulin, but it eventually gets worn out from working too hard. As blood glucose continues to rise, you now also have an excess of insulin in the bloodstream, which leads to obesity.