Diabetes – Learn the Basics of Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with high levels of blood sugar/glucose, then you’re at a higher risk of getting diabetes. Therefore, if you’re looking to understand diabetes, then you’ll love this post.
Diabetes is an illness that is associated with high levels of blood glucose. Simply put, diabetes is a health problem that occurs when your blood sugar/blood glucose levels rise higher than normal.
This disease normally weakens your body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin. Which normally results in an unusual metabolism and/ digestion of carbohydrates, thus increases the levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood and urine.
Take note that blood glucose is one of your body’s main source of energy, and it comes from the food you eat.
Also, insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas, which regulates the amount of glucose/sugar in your blood. In addition, it transports glucose from the food you eat into your cells, which in turn can be used for energy. Hence, we can say insulin helps to control your blood glucose levels.
However, there are situations when your body is unable to produce enough or any insulin. Similarly, there are conditions where your body is unable to utilise insulin properly (also known as insulin resistance). In such situations, your body begins to store glucose in your blood, because your insulin hormone is unable to control your blood glucose levels.
As time progresses, you may experience some health problems (one of which is diabetes) because of the high levels of glucose in your blood.
Despite health professionals are yet to find a cure for diabetes, it is still possible to properly manage your diabetes and stay in good physical shape. Simple lifestyle change can help in such situation.
So now let’s look at the most common types of diabetic
The type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes are generally considered the most common types.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body does not produce insulin. Such conditions may occur when the cell in your pancreas that makes insulin is damaged or not working properly. This type of diabetes is commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can also be seen in adults and old people.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown and is therefore not preventable with the currently available data. Common symptoms may occur rapidly and include thirst, excessive excretion of urine, weight loss, constant hunger, vision changes, and fatigue.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes are required to take insulin every day to stay alive. Nonetheless, with the benefit of insulin therapy and other relevant treatments, people of any age can learn to manage their condition, live long, and enjoy healthy lives.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not utilise insulin correctly. This is often termed ‘insulin resistance’. The Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is often diagnosed in middle-aged and older people but nowadays can also be seen in children.
The cause of type 2 diabetes is largely the result of being overweight and physically inactive. Symptoms may be identical to those of type 1 diabetes but are often less noticeable.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that most often occurs during pregnancy. This type of diabetes can cause health problems in both mother and baby.
It normally occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but below those diagnostics of diabetes. In addition, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you and your child are at increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the future.
Gestational diabetes often has no symptoms and is most often detected through prenatal screening, instead of through reported symptoms.
Therefore, it is important to manage your diabetes to help protect your baby and yourself.
Diabetes is on the rise
WHO data suggested that diabetes is on the increase, as approximately 3.7 million deaths are due to diabetes and high blood glucose. 1.5 million of those deaths are caused by diabetes and around 422 million adults had been diagnosed with diabetes. Check here for additional info.
What are your chances to develop type 2 diabetes?
Physical inactivity, age (45 or older), race, family history of diabetes, excess body weight and certain health problems such as high blood pressure could influence your odds of developing a type 2 diabetes. Also, you’re likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes or you’ve had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Learn more about diabetes risk factors.
Over time, individuals with diabetes and high blood glucose can develop health problems like;
heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage and foot problems.
Therefore, it is recommended to take small steps every day to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health issues.
Simple lifestyle changes have been shown to effectively prevent or at least delay the start of type 2 diabetes.
Some of these lifestyle measures include to maintain a healthy body weight; engage in regular physical activities like walking, running, dancing etc. however, to lose weight you may need to embark on more activities.
In addition, eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats intake; avoid tobacco usage; as smoking increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Likewise, it is important to know your cholesterol numbers, as having high triglycerides increases your risk of developing diabetes.
Now it’s your turn
I hope this article help raise your awareness about diabetes and high blood glucose. If you have any questions, you're always welcome to leave a comment, check similar articles, or start a discussion.
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Peace and Blessings!