What is Diabetes?
Diabetes Management
Diabetes Complications
Diabetes Prevention
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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high. Glucose comes from the food you eat and is the main source of fuel for the body. For diabetics, the body cannot use glucose properly so it leads to high glucose in the blood. This is because the pancreas does not produce any insulin or does not produce enough to help glucose enter your body’s cells.  Another possible reason is because the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. People who have type 1 diabetes, must inject insulin to help the body use glucose from food. When insulin is not delivered, the glucose stays in the bloodstream preventing the cells from receiving the fuel they needed. This can lead to feelings of tiredness, hunger, and increased thirst. Other symptoms include frequent urination and weight loss.

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes

  • Family history of type 1 diabetes
  • Having other conditions that affect the immune system will also increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Bottle-feeding or breastfeeding for a short duration, a high birth weight, and the mother’s age at childbirth of over 35 years old will give children a greater possibility of developing type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes, formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult onset diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes, as it accounts for about 90% of the diabetes population in the world. There are different causes of type 2 diabetes: the pancreas is not producing a sufficient amount of insulin, the insulin produced is not performing its primary job, or the liver is making more glucose than what the body needs. These three problems can cause glucose to build up in the body, instead of going to the cells, which can lead to other diabetes complications. Some symptoms for type 2 diabetes include tiredness, blurry vision, infections that do not heal, and numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Over 45 years old
  • Overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal blood cholesterol or triglycerides
  • History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that arises during pregnancy, usually during the second or third trimester. In some women, GDM occurs because the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the extra needs of the fetus.

Diabetes Treatment
Treatment for diabetes helps keep blood sugar levels steady and alleviatessymptoms. Controlling blood sugar will also help reduce the risk of complications, such as problems with the kidneys, eyes, heart, skin, mouth, and feet. Please consult your doctor for specific diabetes treatment therapy.

Treatments vary according to how much insulin the body makes and how well the body is able to use available insulin.

  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their diabetes at first by losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Others also need medications that help boost their natural insulin or help the body use insulin more efficiently.
  • Many adults with type 2 diabetes may eventually need to take insulin.
  • People with type 1 diabetes always need to take insulin.

Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Diabetes care is likely to involve lifestyle changes that will have enormous health benefits, while allowing diabetics to continue enjoying their life. This information is for general care of diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, please visit your heath care provider to design a specific plan just for your needs.
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