Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel.
What are the different types of diabetes?
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes — If you have type 1diabetes , your body does not make insulin. your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
- Type 2 diabetes — If you have type 2diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle- aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes — Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may sometimes not experience symptoms. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.
Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are:-
- Extreme hunger,
- Unexplained weight loss,
- Increased thirst,
- Frequent urination,
- Blurred vision,
- Slow-healing sores,
- Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections,
- Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there’s not enough available insulin),
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, though it often appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40.
Causes of type 1 diabetes
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system -which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses – attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, though exactly what those factors are is still unclear. Weight is not believed to be a factor in type 1 diabetes.
Causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
which can lead to type 2 diabetes -and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it’s needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it’s believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes too. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.
Causes of gestational diabetes
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin.
Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can’t keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood, resulting in gestational diabetes.
Risk factors for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes.
Risk factors for type 1 diabetes – Although the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, factors that may signal an increased risk include:-
- Environmental factors,
- Family history,
- The presence of damaging immune system cells,
Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
Researchers don’t fully understand why some people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and others don’t. It’s clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:-
- Race or ethnicity,
- Family history,
- Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels,
- High blood pressure,
- Gestational diabetes,
Risk factors for gestational diabetes–
Pregnant women can develop gestational diabetes. Some women are at greater risk than are others. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:-
- Family or personal history,
- Race or ethnicity,
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar -the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life- threatening. Possible complications include:-
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Skin conditions
- Hearing impairment
- Foot damage
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. However, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them:-
- Get more physical activity,
- Lose excess pounds,
- Eat healthy foods.
I hope that you liked this article.