As most people already know, diabetes is on an incredible increase in the United States. While most people have heard the term diabetes, few really understand what diabetes is, and more importantly, the symptoms to look out for. Over 25 million people have diabetes and 6 million more have it and don’t even know it. Diabetes has become a very serious health issue. There is no cure for Type 2 Diabetes at this time.
How does one get diabetes?
Whenever we eat our food, the body goes to work in its natural process of taking the food and changing it into energy. It does this by turning it into sugar, or glucose, while digesting it. This is what gives us energy. During this process, the pancreas releases insulin which controls the amount of sugar in our bloodstream. This is what keeps us healthy. Without this insulin, the sugar remains in our bloodstream, creating several health related problems. Among them are possibility of blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and other organ function problems. If diabetes is left untreated, it will cause death. That’s why it’s so important to be tested on a regular basis and know what your blood sugar levels are.
Discover how to fight Type 2 Diabetes and win! Managing Diabetes
What are the different types of diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes – You may have heard of this form of diabetes as “juvenile” diabetes since it is usually found in young children. Type 1 Diabetes is found in only 5-10% of all diabetic cases. It is diagnosed when the pancreas fails to produce any insulin at all, or too little of an amount to do the body any good.
With Type 1 Diabetes, patients must have a daily injection of insulin medicine. Without these daily injections of medicine, they will not survive.
Type 2 Diabetes – This form of diabetes is the most common, with 90-95% of all forms of diabetes being Type 2.
With Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t continue to produce enough insulin in a natural way, or the cells no longer respond to the insulin any loner. In many cases, Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise. If this fails to produce the necessary results, oral medication can be prescribed.
Gestational Diabetes – This form of diabetes is found only in women who are pregnant. Similar to Type 2, it usually strikes 2-7% of all pregnancies. It is caused by the pancreas not being able to keep up in delivering insulin to control the glucose level. This form of diabetes will most always go away after pregnancy, but there is an increased risk of both mother and baby becoming diabetic later on in life.
Doctors will generally test for Gestational Diabetes around the 26th week of pregnancy, which is when insulin resistance usually starts.
Pre-Diabetes – Also known as borderline diabetes, this is diagnosed when patients are showing signs of increased levels of blood sugar and are beginning to have difficulty in keeping them down. Pre-diabetes affects over 40 million people, which is incredible when you stop to think about it. If left untreated, pre-diabetes will turn into Type 2 Diabetes in most cases. Those with pre-diabetes are urged to alter their diets and begin to get on an exercise routine of some kind. In addition, they should have their blood sugar levels tested at least every 3 months.
As mentioned earlier, there is no known cure for Type 2 Diabetes. The only cure available for those patients with Type 1 Diabetes is to receive a pancreas transplant. Of course, this can lead to other problems such as rejection by the body, and the effects of the surgery itself. Science is continuing to work on other ways to treat and prevent diabetes including the transplanting of insulin producing cells within the pancreas, and even making an artificial pancreas.
Other medical programs going on to prevent and treat diabetes include producing an inhalation device that will put out insulin. This would take the place of daily insulin injections. These, and many more advancements are on the horizon for those who suffer from this awful disease. I would encourage you to monitor your blood sugar level at least once a year. By knowing what it is you can help prevent the onset of diabetes.