Homeostasis & Diabetes

Written by kimelia sachs
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Homeostasis & Diabetes
Diabetics must monitor blood sugar to keep their body functions balanced. (blood testing image by John Keith from Fotolia.com)

When the human body is in a state of homeostasis, all functions and chemicals are balanced and the body functions normally. Maintaining blood glucose levels is among many functions the body controls through homeostatic regulation. When there is a problem balancing levels of insulin, several problems take place. If left untreated, complications such as diabetes occur.

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The Facts

Diabetes is a medical term that describes several diseases that occur as a result of the body improperly utilising insulin. In short, a state of homeostasis is never achieved. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are chronic, serious conditions with no known cure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treating and managing them requires constant commitment to reduce life-threatening conditions.

Function

Homeostasis is an ongoing daily process for the body. The pancreas controls insulin when blood sugar in the body becomes too high or too low. When blood sugar is too low, the pancreas releases glucose to reach a state of homeostasis. When blood sugar is too high, the liver synthesises it and stores it to reach a state of homeostasis. Insulin is sometimes necessary to help maintain a healthy balance. In some cases, managing diet helps control this balance.

Prevention/Solution

While there is no cure for diabetes as of 2010, patients can manage this condition through monitoring levels throughout the day, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of regular exercise. The best foods are fresh, not processed. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are naturally low in sugar ensure protection against a glycogen spike. Exercise helps maintain diabetes because it improves how the body utilises glucose. Controlling blood sugar means checking levels regularly.

Warnings

When the body cannot maintain a state of homeostasis, it effects not only an individual's health but how he feels. Diabetes has short-term and long-term complications. Hypoglycaemia (high blood sugar), hyperglycaemia (low blood sugar) and diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in blood) are short-term complications of diabetes. Long-term complications include heart disease, nerve, kidney, eye and foot damage, skin and mouth infections, and bone and joint problems.

Misconceptions

Contrary to what some may think, there is no special diabetic diet. Diet is extremely important, so individuals need to become educated about what foods to eat for their condition. Diets must be planned, but it doesn't mean they have to be boring. Diabetics can even have sugars as long as they plan for them, states the Mayo Clinic.

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