Most people never give it a second thought—the food they eat is transformed into energy and that’s that. Their bodies do all the work for them: digesting the food and converting carbohydrates into a type of sugar called glucose that enters the bloodstream. Next, the pancreas kicks out insulin, a hormone that travels through the body, attaching to receptors on the outside of cells. Once attached, insulin acts like a key that “unlocks” the cell so that glucose can enter it and be used for energy. If the body doesn’t need the sugar for energy, it stores it as fat. Usually, this process hums along like a well-oiled machine. People take notice only when the process breaks down. The monkey wrench that interrupts the flow is diabetes.MORE: 5 Ways Type 1 Diabetes Is Different Than Type 2 DiabetesApproximately 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, a number that’s increased fourfold over the past 35 years—and may double or even triple again by 2050. And new evidence shows that at least 86 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes—not… Read full this story
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