Since this site does focus on type 2 diabetes, even though the other major type, type 1, will probably come up from time to time, it's time to discuss what type 2 actually is.
There's no doubt that all diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood sugar, but that's actually just a symptom of the disease, and its not really the disease itself. The disease isn't just this symptom, and by the way high blood sugar is just one symptom, and may or may not even be present in diabetes, as there are lots of type 2 diabetics, and type 1's for that matter, who don't actually get high blood sugar anymore, because they have found a way to control it.
So what the disease of type 2 diabetes consists of is a set of things that produce certain symptoms such as high blood sugar, as well as whatever other symptoms it causes. So for instance if you are diabetic have to urinate a lot we don't say you have the disease of urinating a lot, because that really doesn't explain what's causing this, and in this case with diabetes anyway it's generally very high blood sugar.
So the high blood sugar isn't the disease either because we need to look into what's causing this symptom and with type 2 you almost always read that it's either not enough insulin or not using insulin properly.
However, what happens is that we give these things lip service more or less and then say, well yeah, it's high blood sugar, let't get back to that and focus on that. So in other words we really don't pay much attention to what's at the very least a higher order cause, and the idea needs to be to focus on higher order causes as much as we can.
I don't feel it's even correct to characterize type 2 diabetes as being caused from either too little insulin or not using insulin effectively, and the truth is, as I mentioned in the last article, type 2 diabetics tend to make too much insulin, and it's only in the late stages of the disease that the pancreas actually fails, where you at least make very little or no insulin.
When people say that you don't make enough though they often don't mean not a normal amount, they mean it no longer can make the real excessive amounts that we tend to see as one gets this disease, in the earlier stages, starting from secreting too much, and as insulin resistance develops, they secrete more and more.
So fast forward to diabetes, at this point we do end up losing beta cell function but it's been shown that, once again, until the late stages of this, we can secrete normal amounts and what decreases is the degrees of insulin excess that we're able to put out, which does go down over time generally.
So that leaves not using our own insulin properly, which will be the topic of the next article.