Diabetes can be a dangerous and debilitating disease and is the fifth deadliest in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 21 million Americans have this disease, with 9.7 million of them women, and almost 7 million people don’t even know they have it.
There are several major types of diabetes. The first type of diabetes is Type 1 Diabetes. This type of diabetes is the more serious kind and was once known as juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents. This is a life-long disease that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is what is required to control your blood sugar levels. Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include: nausea and vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, pain in your abdomen, no menstrual cycle, and increased urination.
People with Type 1 Diabetes need to constantly monitor their blood sugar and administer insulin as needed. Checking your feet for injury is also important as the disease causes damage to your nerves, which can reduce your ability to feel pressure or injuries to your feet. Serious infections can occur before you even know you had an injury. Treatment also includes a special diet and exercise, but the foundation of treatment is based on education and listening to your body. Knowing how the disease can affect you and what to watch for will improve your overall lifestyle with this disease.
The second major type of diabetes is called Type 2 Diabetes. This form of the disease is the most common and occurs when your body either can’t produce enough insulin or your cells simply ignore what insulin is provided. Your body needs the insulin to use glucose for energy. This glucose can build up in your blood over time and can result in the following symptoms: blurred vision, fatigue, increase appetite, slow-healing infections, and increased urination.
However, most people with Type 2 Diabetes have no symptoms at all. A simple blood test can usually tell your doctor if you are at risk. Most people with this type of diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise, and medications. Daily monitoring of your blood sugar levels is necessary to see how the treatment is working.
Diabetes can be a devastating disease, but with careful diet and exercise, there are ways to manage and even prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Most people will have what is called pre-diabetes before they develop Type 2 Diabetes. Studies indicate that just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent this debilitating disease.
Regular checkups by your physician can help to catch diabetes and other diseases early in their development. Write down questions to ask your doctor at your next visit to ensure a healthy and vibrant lifestyle.
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