What is Diabetes? What Are the Types of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a number of diseases that involve problems with the hormone insulin. Normally, the pancreas (an organ behind the stomach) releases insulin to help your body store and use the sugar and fat from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when one of the following occurs:
- When the pancreas does not produce any insulin
- When the pancreas produces very little insulin
- When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance”
Diabetes is a lifelong disease.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system. People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes most commonly starts in people under the age of 20 but may occur at any age.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in people over age 40 who are overweight but can occur in people who are not overweight. Sometimes referred to as “adult-onset diabetes,” type 2 diabetes has started to appear more often in children because of the rise in obesity in young people.
Some people can manage their type 2 diabetes by controlling their weight, watching their diet, and exercising regularly. Others may also need to take a pill that helps their body use insulin better, or take insulin injections.
Often, doctors are able to detect the likelihood of type 2 diabetes before the condition actually occurs. Commonly referred to as pre-diabetes, this condition occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes often occur suddenly and can be severe. They include:
Learn what could be causing your symptoms, and what to do next.
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss(even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Blurred vision
- Labored, heavy breathing (Kussmaul respirations)
- Loss of consciousness (rare)
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be the same as those listed above. Most often, there are no symptoms or a very gradual development of the above symptoms. Other symptoms may include:
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itching of the skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area)
- Yeast infections
- Recent weight gain
- Numbness or tingling of the hands and feet
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction
How Is Diabetes Managed?
At the present time, diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:
- Keep your blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity
- Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near their normal ranges as possible by avoiding added sugars and processed starches and by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol
- Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not go over 130/80
- Slow or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems
- Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
- Exercising regularly
- Taking medicine, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it
- Monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure levels at home
- Keeping your appointments with your health care providers and having laboratory tests as ordered by your doctor
Know More: Diabetes Care in Pune