Diabetes is considered a progressive condition because over time, the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels becomes impaired. There are several factors that contribute to the progressive nature of diabetes:
Insulin resistance: In type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes, the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. This means that the cells in your body are less responsive to insulin, resulting in higher blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance tends to worsen over time, making it more challenging to maintain blood glucose control.
Beta-cell dysfunction: In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, there is a progressive decline in the function and mass of beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin. As beta cell function decreases, the ability to produce and release sufficient amounts of insulin becomes compromised, leading to higher blood glucose levels.
Aging and lifestyle factors: Age-related changes in metabolism, along with other lifestyle factors such as weight gain, physical inactivity, and poor dietary choices, can contribute to the progression of diabetes. These factors can further worsen insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction.
While it is not possible to predict with certainty how an individual’s diabetes will progress over the next 20 years, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in managing the condition. If you are able to control your blood glucose levels well and maintain a stable weight through healthy eating habits and regular physical activity, it can help slow down the progression of diabetes and potentially reduce the risk of complications.
It’s important to continue working closely with your healthcare team to monitor your blood glucose levels, make appropriate adjustments to your treatment plan as needed, and receive regular check-ups. They can provide you with personalized guidance and support to help manage your diabetes effectively and maintain good blood glucose control over the long term.
Remember that diabetes management is a lifelong commitment, and staying proactive and informed about your condition is essential for maintaining optimal health. Talk to us if you need a consultation.