Understanding the Ominous Octet (8 defects) of Diabetes

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Diabetes is not as easy as browsing different social media platforms or watching your favorite movie. When you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (T2D), you may have a hard time managing your condition. Instead of enjoying the day binge watching Netflix series while enjoying your favorite snack, you must continuously monitor your blood sugar, eat a diabetes-friendly diet, exercise regularly, take medication, and make frequent visits to your doctors.


Diabetes is a chronic condition that does not happen overnight. It takes years before you can be diagnosed with diabetes. It is the result of prolonged unhealthy lifestyle such as: unhealthy eating, tobacco, drinking, excess body weight, physical inactivity, etc.



Patients with Type 2 Diabetes often need to use insulin which is needed to control blood sugar when oral medications or non-insulin injectable medications are not enough. Insulin injection is needed to compensate for the huge rush of blood sugar in the individual with diabetes. Know more about insulin and how it works in the body. (hyperlink to article 1)


Eventually, it impairs sugar metabolism through different pathways. There are 8 different defects that impair sugar metabolism. This is known as the “ominous octet”.




1. Decreased insulin secretion


Your pancreas works 24/7. Once impaired glucose tolerance (inability to correct blood sugar to normal levels) is present, 80% of your pancreas’ function is also affected. Over time, your pancreas gets tired and stops producing insulin. This may result to you being considered as insulin dependent.


2. Decreased Incretin Effect


Did you know that our intestines also play another important role apart from regulating our digestion? Incretins are hormones that come from your intestines. In T2D, there is a deficiency of GLP-1 (a hormone that plays important roles in regulating appetite and blood sugar levels) and resistance to the action of GIP (a hormone that regulates glucose and lipid metabolism).


3. Increased Lipolysis


This happens when there is increased fat breakdown in your body. The fat cells in your body re lease more free fatty acids where excess lipid may also accumulate in your liver, muscles, and pancreas. This worsens overall insulin resistance and decreases insulin secretion.


4. Increased Glucose Reabsorption


Your kidneys help hold down the glucose it filters, which is critical in providing for the energy demands of your body’s tissues. However, in diabetes, your kidneys hold on to most of the glucose, even if the glucose levels are already high.


5. Decreased Glucose Uptake


This happens when your muscle cells have decreased ability to take up glucose and remove it from your bloodstream. This leaves the glucose to float around your bloodstream, which often leads to blood sugar spiking up.


6. Neurotransmitter Dysfunction


Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that stimulate your brain and nervous system. When these signals are disrupted, appetite increases which may result to obesity and a spike in Type 2 diabetes cases.


7. Increased Hepatic Glucose Production (HGP)


Your liver undergoes two processes called gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose from certain non-carbohydrate carbon substrates) and glycogenolysis (glycogen is broken down into glucose to provide immediate energy and to maintain blood glucose levels during fasting). In diabetes, even when your blood glucose is already high, your liver continues to release more glucose, which results to hyperglycemia (too much glucose in the blood).


8. Increased Glucagon Secretion


Your pancreas has beta cells that produce insulin and alpha cells that produce glucagon. Glucagon causes your liver to breakdown glycogen for energy demand. It is counteracted by insulin. If insulin is impaired, so is the regulation of blood sugar, leading to even higher glucose levels.



The identification of these 8 defects has significant implications for treating T2D. On the other hand, to achieve effective treatment and be relieved from #Diabetiis, lifestyle changes and proper medication should be used to correct the multiple pathophysiological defects; and therapy must be started early in the natural history of T2D to prevent treatment failures.





Along with lifestyle changes and proper medication, you can also try incorporating Diabetasol in your daily meals to help regulate your blood sugar. Diabetasol is a meal replacement nutrition powder packed with 11 essential vitamins and 6 minerals. It contains Vitadigest, a combination of inulin fiber and slow digesting carbohydrate which helps regulate blood sugar by sustaining the energy release, hence making you feel full longer. In addition, the components of Vitamins A, C, D, E and Zinc in Diabetasol can also help enhance the immune system, making people less prone to infection.


Diabetes is a challenging condition to deal with. If sugar levels are left unmanaged, it results to the 8 defects being present in the body. These defects may be hard to reverse. That is why, as soon as possible, you must commit to proper blood sugar management to avoid facing the consequences of Type 2 Diabetes.


To learn more about diabetes and get more #Diabetips, like and follow us on Facebook (hyperlinked to FB Page) and join our monthly #Diabetasolutions activities.








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