Diabetes is a chronic health disease affecting the way the body converts food into energy. It occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. In other words, the disease develops when the body cannot properly utilize the insulin it makes. As a result, blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. It leads to severe health complications. These health problems include heart disease, eyesight loss, and kidney disorders.
At this time, there is no complete diabetes treatment. But losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising can help. Also, following healthcare appointments, self-management education, and support play a vital role in reducing the impact of diabetes on your life.
Types of Diabetes
If we look at the overview of diabetes then primarily, there are three main types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs as a result of an autoimmune reaction. It is more common in children, teenagers, and young adults. Type 1 prevents the body from making insulin. If you are suffering from this type, you need to take insulin every day to survive.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes appears when the body becomes resistant to insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in your blood. Approximately 90-95% of people with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women. Mostly it disappears after the baby is born. If you have had gestational diabetes, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Diabetes?
Diabetes symptoms depend on how high your blood sugar is. Patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may not experience any symptoms. However, people having type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores
- Weight loss
- Sores that do not heal
- Extreme hunger
- Recurring infections, including gums, skin infections, and vaginal infections
What Percentage of the US Population Has Diabetes?
Approximately 34.2 million people in the United States have diabetes. According to research, 10.2% of people have been diagnosed with diabetes. At the same time, 7.3 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.
What Are the Health Problems Associated With Diabetes?
When left untreated, diabetes can lead to potential health problems. But with correct treatment and lifestyle changes, you can avoid future complications. Some commonly associated health problems include:
- Heart disease
- Hearing impairment
- Kidney disease
- Eye problems
- Skin conditions
- Gum disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Nerve damage
- Foot problems
What Is the Leading Cause of Diabetes?
Some of the significant causes of diabetes include:
- Genetic mutations
- Hormonal diseases
- Damage to or removal of the pancreas
- Medicines that harm beta cells or disrupt the way insulin works
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
A person experiences type 1 diabetes when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Usually, it occurs due to genes and environmental factors.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs due to several factors. These factors include genes and lifestyle. Type 2 runs in families. Physical inactivity, being overweight, and obesity also contributes to the development of this condition.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes appears due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Women who are overweight when they get pregnant or gain excessive weight during the pregnancy are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
How is Diabetes Diagnosed?
Doctors recommend the following tests to diagnose diabetes:
- A1C test
- Fasting blood sugar test
- Glucose tolerance test
- Random blood sugar test
- Glucose screening test
Insulin for Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to make any insulin. Hence there is a need to inject insulin daily to stay alive. Similarly, patients with type 2 diabetes also require insulin injections to survive.
Types of Insulin:
There are five types of insulin. They include:
- Rapid-acting insulin
- Short-acting insulin
- Intermediate-acting insulin
- Mixed insulin
- Long-acting insulin
What Should I Do to Prevent Diabetes?
Diabetes can lead to severe medical complications. It is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, healthy lifestyle choices effectively help to prevent and treat other types of diabetes. Sometimes doctors recommend some medications. Oral diabetes drugs, including metformin, may help. Also, you should:
- Eat healthy foods
- Get more physical activity
- Lose excess pounds
What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be?
Ask your doctor about the ideal blood glucose level for you. After analyzing several health factors, your healthcare provider may have set a specific target range for your diabetes treatment. However, in general, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at the below-mentioned targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours of having a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
Can Patients With Diabetes Live a Normal Life?
Yes, people can live a long and healthy life with diabetes. But it is possible only if they try to control it. It is highly recommended to see the healthcare provider regularly for diabetes treatment. Get involved in your diabetes treatment program to avoid any further health complications.