Vitamins, trace elements and diabetes

The human body cannot function without vitamins. They are responsible for ensuring that all chemical reactions in our body occur correctly. Vitamins are not a source of energy like fats, proteins and carbohydrates, but they help our body to absorb, direct and process them the way it is needed. The human body itself does not know how to synthesize (create) them, so it is important to use them from the outside. In most cases, we get them from food.

Vitamin absorption in diabetes

In people with diabetes, especially with its long-term decompensation, the metabolism in the body is disturbed – the cells stop absorbing certain substances from food in the right amount. Also, sometimes with diabetes, a person adheres to a strict diet, which limits the intake of nutrients from food. For this reason, people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes may be prescribed additional vitamins and minerals by their doctor.

To recognize the presence of a deficiency of specific vitamins, you can:

  • according to manifestations in the body,
  • by the amount of a particular vitamin in the blood.

Let’s look at how the lack of certain vitamins and minerals affects our well-being and health.

Vitamin A (retinol) in our body is responsible for vision, cell growth and immunity. its lack is manifested by brittle hair, dry skin, the appearance of transverse stripes on the nails, eye disease, gastritis, diarrhea, and in children, a slowdown in physical and intellectual development.

An insufficient amount of vitamin E (tocopherol) leads to increased permeability and capillary fragility, muscle weakness, and anemia.

When the body needs additional vitamin D (calciferol) , a person may experience convulsions, psychomotor reactions are disturbed, bones often break and slowly grow together. A lack of vitamin D in a child can cause rickets.

Lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) leads to general weakness, fatigue, frequent colds, bleeding gums and poor wound healing.

With a lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine) , irritability, deterioration in appetite and sleep, muscle weakness and even mental changes appear.

If there is not enough vitamin B2 (riboflavin) , cracks may appear on the lips and in the corners of the mouth, a feeling of “sand in the eyes”, a violation of the perception of various colors. Anemia may also develop.

Due to a lack of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) , a person’s skin begins to peel off, hair turns gray and falls out, fatigue quickly appears and does not go away for a long time. Gastrointestinal disorders may also appear.

Zinc is one of the trace elements that ensure the normal functioning of the body. It stimulates the production of insulin, increases the body’s resistance to infections and the barrier function of the skin. This is especially important for people with diabetes, where wounds can heal slowly due to a lack of zinc.

Chromium is another important trace element in our body. Due to its lack, insulin resistance increases, which is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes. Chromium stimulates the process of burning calories during physical exertion, contributing to weight loss.

Iron is a chemical element vital for the human body. It is involved in many biological processes and, first of all, in the transfer of oxygen to tissues and muscles. Its deficiency is very common in people all over the world, including people with diabetes.

These and many other useful substances are necessary for our body. But, of course, we can’t help but remind you that the best way to prevent the complications of diabetes is still self-control – the desire to keep blood glucose within normal limits. This means that a glucometer or monitoring, and preferably a diabetic diary, should always be with you so that you can respond to changes in your body in a timely manner.

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