Knowing that you’re diagnosed with diabetes can be traumatizing, but you don’t have to panic. In this article, we’re going to outline the types of diabetes, and how they are diagnosed. I will also tell you some of the symptoms of this condition and how it can affect your body. Daily monitoring the levels of your blood sugar called glucose is important to keep under control. Despite the best efforts of researchers and doctors all over the world, there is currently no known cure for diabetes. Nevertheless, the care and treatment of diabetes have dramatically improved in recent years, making it a disease you can learn to live with.
What exactly is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder of the pancreas, a small gland located below and just behind the stomach. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps deliver glucose into every cell of the body. The symptoms of diabetes can be serious dehydration which might cause extreme thirst, unexplained weight loss, changes in vision and extreme fatigue. Untreated diabetes can lead to a host of devastating complications to almost every cell and organ in the body. It is currently estimated that in the United States alone, nearly 20 million people have diabetes and many more have pre-diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
The two major types of diabetes are called type 1 and type 2. Until recently, type 1 was known as juvenile diabetes because it was most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes occurs when virtually all of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Everyone diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must take injections of insulin every day in order to survive. Type 1 is much less common than type 2. About five to ten percent of diabetics have type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is much more prevalent. ninety-five percent of all diabetics have type 2 diabetes. There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including family history, high cholesterol etc. The leading cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity. 80-90% of people with this type of diabetes are overweight. Other risk factors include race and ethnicity. For instance, we know that in the United States African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are two times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than Caucasians. Due to the fact that type 2 diabetes are often subtle, some people might go for years before a diagnosis is made and treatment can begin.
It is estimated that in the US alone, there might be nearly six million undiagnosed cases of diabetes. A third, but less common type of diabetes, which is gestational diabetes, can develop in women during pregnancy. The good news is that in most cases, gestational diabetes ends after the mother gives birth. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similar complications. In both cases, diabetics tend to produce excessive urine, experience tingling or numbness in the hands or feet and have wounds that are slow to heal. If not properly managed over time, diabetes can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks strokes, kidney disease, blindness infections and limb amputations.
Diabetes is a serious and frightening condition, but the good news is that it can be effectively managed with oral drugs and insulin, therapy, proper diet, exercise and other good health habits.
*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.