The science that studies the composition, structure and properties of matter as well as the changes they undergo during their reactions with other elements is chemistry. In the human body we have two innate chemicals, they are the liver and the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that has two main functions: making digestive juices or enzymes to digest food and producing insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. It is essential to transport and store glucose in cells and use it as a source of energy for the body. If glucose does not enter the cells, it accumulates in the blood, therefore, insulin is the key that allows glucose to reach the cells. If the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it correctly, diabetes occurs. If this happens, there would be too much sugar left in the bloodstream and could cause serious health problems such as vision loss, kidney disease, or heart disease.

There are several types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, which is when the body cannot produce insulin, so people who suffer from it have to receive insulin daily to survive. It usually appears in children, but also in adolescents and young adults. “It is due to an autoimmune attack on the beta cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for manufacturing insulin. The immune system reacts against its own body, in this case against the beta cells of the pancreas and over a period of time, destroys them” explains Dr. Gemma Sesmilo, Head of Service of the Department of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes at the Dexeus University Hospital.

Type 2 diabetes, when the body cannot produce enough insulin or is not able to use it to function well. Approximately 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It is diagnosed in adulthood, although it is increasingly developing in children, adolescents and young adults. It is usually related to overweight, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. There are no symptoms and that is why it is important to have blood tests if you are at risk, since this type of diabetes can be delayed or prevented, simply by changing your lifestyle, losing weight, eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity. . There is also gestational diabetes which can occur during pregnancy in women who have never had diabetes.

The treatment of diabetes will depend on the type, but in any case it is about controlling blood glucose levels to avoid hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, that is, neither peaks nor drops in glucose and thus prevent the possible complications that this entails. . Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and getting regular exercise are important factors in managing diabetes and overall health. For type 1 diabetes, insulin is the treatment, “if it is not treated with insulin, it is not compatible with life. Diabetes education is very important so that the patient learns to manage their disease and can become autonomous in glucose regulation,” indicates the specialist. In type 2 diabetes, the treatment is different, it is aimed, above all, at nutritional control to avoid being overweight, changing lifestyle habits and exercising. One of the foods that a diabetic must control are carbohydrates since they are the main source of glucose and therefore the energy supply of the cells. “Slow absorption is recommended, such as legumes, quinoa, and whole grain varieties of cereals and rice, to avoid peaks in glucose absorption and less demand on the pancreas for insulin production,” adds Dr. Sesmilo. Vegetables and vegetables cannot be missing from all meals. The Mediterranean diet is the most complete and recommended for diabetes patients and for everyone as it contains all the foods necessary for a healthy diet.

When there has not been adequate control of diabetes, diet, lack of exercise or excess weight, blood glucose levels increase and can cause damage to kidney function, causing diabetic nephropathy, which would cause problems such as high blood pressure. and problems filtering some toxic substances that may be in the blood. Diabetes can also increase the risk of heart diseases such as heart attacks, angina, blockages in the coronary arteries or chest pain as a result of high blood sugar. In addition to damage to the eyes, skin and mouth diseases, diabetes makes the patient more sensitive to bacterial and fungal infections. It also decreases bone density, making them more prone to osteoporosis. For all this, it is very important, especially in type 2 diabetes, to maintain a healthy diet, an adequate weight, change lifestyle habits, exercise regularly, and take the medication that the specialist has prescribed in each case to keep the diabetes under control. diabetes.