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What causes the adverse effects of diabetes? Does the high sugar content of the blood damage the body's cells from the outside or does the fact that not enough sugar gets into the cells damage them from the inside?


The short answer is that we don't know, but a full answer would fill a book. There is evidence that glucose can stick to proteins and cause damage that way on the outside of cells. There's also good reason to believe that more complex sugars like sorbitol (produced from glucose) are responsible for some damage. Other hormones such as growth hormone may also have a role to play. Basically there are many abnormal things happen to metabolism in diabetes and many are a lot worse in bad control. The only clear message is that good control reduces the risk.


Original posting 13 Nov 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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