Advancements for learning what causes diabetes

Do you or someone you love suffer from type 2 diabetes? This chronic condition affects the way in which your body metabolizes glucose, and can greatly affect your lifestyle. Glucose is your body's main source of fuel, so it's important that you are able to maintain certain levels throughout the day.1 If not, it can be life threatening.

Potential causes
There are a number of conditions that may increase an individual's risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but doctors aren't always certain why some people do and others don't have issues. Potential risk factors can include:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Weight
  • Family history
  • Fat distribution
  • Inactivity

Recently, researchers from the University of Adelaide may have uncovered findings that give a better understanding of what exactly is happening in a type 2 diabetic's body.

Gut taste mechanisms
In your gut, there are receptors that "taste" sweet foods that you have ingested. Health care professionals recently found that these may be defective in diabetics, which causes problems for their bodies when it comes to balancing glucose levels.

"When we talk about 'sweet taste,' most people think of tasting sweet food on our tongue, but scientists have discovered that sweet receptors are present in a number of sites in the human body," Dr. Richard Young, senior researcher on the project, explained in a statement. "Our studies show that in diabetes patients, the glucose is absorbed more rapidly and in greater quantities than in healthy adults."2

In comparison to healthy adults, those with type 2 diabetes exhibited rapid glucose uptake when the gut taste mechanisms were exposed to sweet tastes. However, healthy adults were able to regulate glucose within 30 minutes. This is because the receptors are supposed to trigger such a response that regulates the way in which glucose is absorbed by the intestine.

So, although doctors have always attributed diabetes to the pancreas and insulin, the gut also plays a significant role. If the body of someone who has type 2 diabetes is relying in these gut taste mechanisms to manage glucose, they are up against a never-ending fight.

Physicians want to conduct further research on this topic to get a better grasp on the situation. For instance, they would like to compare the differences between what happens over the course of the entire digestion period, rather than just within the first 30 minutes. Depending on what information is found, they may be successful in finding ways to better treat and manage type 2 diabetes. Plus, research to this area of the body could mean a lot of other health and nutrition problems that diabetics suffer from.

Medical supplies
Patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can count on Medex Supply for the necessary medical supplies they require in managing the disease. Diabetic supplies available include:

1 Mayo Clinic, "Type 2 diabetes" January 25, 2013
2 EurekAlert!, "Gut taste mechanisms are abnormal in diabetes sufferers" August 23, 2013

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