Diabetes, nature
and causes

Diabetes is a chronic disease, whose main characteristic is hyperglycaemia:

high levels of glucose in blood

A glucose overload is due to bad functioning or an excess of insulin. This precious hormone produced by pancreas regulates the entry of glucose molecules into cells and the use of sugar as a source of energy.
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ALTERATIONS OF THE REGULATORY FUNCTION OF INSULIN

LEVELS OF GLUCOSE IN BLOOD HIGHER THAN NORMAL
DIABETES

ALTERATIONS OF THE REGULATORY FUNCTION OF INSULIN

LEVELS OF GLUCOSE IN BLOOD THAT ARE HIGHER THAN NORMAL
DIABETES

TYPES OF DIABETES

If on the one hand hyperglycaemia is a characteristic shared by the different types of diabetes, on the other hand, these differ a lot from one another because of their different causes and symptoms.

Type 1 Diabetes: causes and characteristics

It is the most unusual type, affecting 10% of people suffering from diabetes, and it is classified as an autoimmune disease.

It is a type of diabetes that affects mainly children and teenagers.

What happens?

Insulin is physiologically produced by the β cells of pancreas. In such disease, the cells are attacked by the immune system, that is not able to recognize them as part of the body and thus reacts by stopping the production of insulin.  The reason for such immune alteration is only partially known, in fact it seems that at its root there might be environmental and genetic factors (not always hereditary).

Poor concentration or lack of insulin do not allow the body to use the sugars introduced by means of diet, producing hyperglycaemia, that consists in high levels of sugar in blood.

ALTERED AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSE

GRADUAL DESTRUCTION OF PANCREAS CELLS
FAILURE OF INSULIN PRODUCTION
ONSETS OF DIABETES

ALTERED AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSE

GRADUAL DESTRUCTION OF PANCREAS CELLS
FAILURE OF INSULIN PRODUCTION
ONSETS OF DIABETES

The most frequent symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, unexplained weight loss.

Type 2 Diabetes: causes and characteristics

Mellitus diabetes or type 2 diabetes affects around 90% of the patients suffering from such disease, so it is the most widespread type. Unlike type 1, it is related to certain characteristics that predispose patients.

It generally appears in adulthood and mainly affects overweight/obese people and women.

What happens?

The excess of fat usually leads to insulin-resistance, that means the incapacity of organism to respond to the action of insulin and as a result an increased glycaemia. Pancreas reacts with an additional production of insulin, thus generating compensatory hyperinsulinemia that, in the long run, causes a depletion of β pancreas cells.

EXCESS OF FAT

DEFICIT OF INSULIN
HYPERGLYCAEMIA
ONSETS OF DIABETES

EXCESS OF FAT

DEFICIT OF INSULIN
HYPERGLYCAEMIA
ONSETS OF DIABETES

Symptoms are not easily recognizable, as the disease is a long and slow process. Indeed, the diagnosis is often belated and the disease detected by pure chance.

The causes are environmental and hereditary factors, but there are also risk factors that may trigger the disease:

Overweight or obesity
High levels of cholesterol and tryglicerides in blood
Unhealthy lifestyle and diet
Stress and other pathologies

Some of the symptoms might be thirst, fatigue, frequent urination especially at night, slow healing of cuts and wounds.

As soon as patients are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they must be frequently monitored in order to avoid damages to microcirculation, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

GESTATIONAL DIABETES: CAUSES AND CHARACTERISTICS

Gestational diabetes affects 4% of pregnant women, it is diagnosed during pregnancy and it resolves with delivery, but it may predispose women to the onset of the disease later on.

ONSETS AND DIAGNOSIS

It generally appears during the second stage of pregnancy, so the right time for the screening is between the 24th and the 28th week of pregnancy.
Some conditions, like obesity, gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) represent risk factors. Such conditions may lead to an early onset of the disease.
As a result, an early screening (between 16Th and 18th week) is highly recommended, to be repeated during 24th-28th week in case the first screening is negative.

What happens?

During pregnancy an insulin-resistance condition is physiologically established in the mother to guarantee the nourishment to the fetus. Gestational diabetes is characterized by an increase in physiological insulin resistance, which is higher compared to pregnancies not complicated by this pathology.

The first therapeutic approach involves diet and moderate exercise; if the glycemic compensation is not reached, insulin is used.

 As for the therapies, metformin has been used as an insulin-sensitizing agent, but the results so far are contrasting and the use is not recommended by the guidelines.

However, the data about the use of nutraceuticals containing inositol, especially d-chiro-inositol, appear to be encouraging.

The role of D-chiro-inositol 
in the treatment of diabetes

A wealth of scientific evidence defines D-Chiro-Inositol as an insulin-sensitizing agent, as it performs as the second messenger of the insulin signal. In fact, it is involved in maintaining the correct glucose metabolism, promoting peripheral glucose use and glycogen synthesis.

Therefore, whenever an alteration of the function of insulin occurs, D-chiro-inositol can be an ally to counteract the resulting insulin-resistance.

At the root of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes there is a condition of insulin-resistance. Hence the rational use of D-Chiro-Inositol.

WHAT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SAYS

Literature reports cases of patients suffering from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes with a deficit of DCI, therefore a supplementation of such substance would restore the right levels and in so doing significantly improve insulin sensitivity.
A recent study of women suffering from gestational diabetes has pointed out that an integration of DCI has led to a higher glycemic compensation, a stop of weight gain for both the mother and the fetus.
Furthermore, DCI has proven to be a good adjuvant treatment even in patients with overweight / obese type 1 diabetes, in which a high BMI has brought to a decrease in insulin sensitivity. In these patients the combination of insulin and DCI has led to better glycemic control.

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