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A Glance at Diabetes

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to move sugar out of the blood and into the cells, where it becomes energy. There are two main types of diabetes. Type One, formally known as insulin-dependant or juvenile diabetes and Type Two, formally known as non-insulin dependant diabetes. There is also a third type of diabetes found in pregnant women called gestational diabetes. Both Type One and Type Two diabetes cause blood sugar levels to become higher than normal, but in different ways.

Type One diabetes occurs when your body is unable to produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar into energy, lowering the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. Your immune system normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses, but when you have Type One diabetes your immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells.

Type Two diabetes is the most common type. Someone with Type Two diabetes is unable to make enough insulin or the cells don’t properly use the insulin. This condition is known as insulin resistance. Excessive amounts of sugar build up in the blood because it is not being turned into energy.

Gestational diabetes occurs late in a woman’s pregnancy and is caused by hormonal changes. The sugar levels usually go back to normal after the birth of the baby. Receiving treatment for gestational diabetes will allow you to have a healthy pregnancy and the baby a healthy birth as well as possibly avoid poor health in the future.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of both Type One and Two diabetes are needing to urinate more frequently than usual, unquenchable thirst and an increase of apatite. Other symptoms can include an overwhelming feeling of weakness, tiredness and nausea as well as unexplainable weight loss or gain. You may also notice that cuts and soars take longer than usual to heal.

Tests Needed

There are three different tests used to detect diabetes. A fasting plasma glucose test measures the amount of sugar is in the blood of a person who has not eaten for at least eight hours. The oral glucose tolerance test measures the blood sugar of a person who has not eaten for at least eight hours and then again two hours after the person has been given a sugary drink. A random plasma glucose test is preformed to detect the levels of sugar in a person’s blood no mater when they last ate. A diagnosis of diabetes is made when any three of these tests is positive, followed by a second positive test on a different day.

Different Types of Care

The main goal is to maintain the blood sugar levels so that they stay as close to normal as possible. A person with type one diabetes will need to take insulin every day usually by injection or pump. A person with type two diabetes can usually control it by following a diabetic diet and exercise but may still need to take insulin or pills as well. With both types of diabetes it is very important to regularly visit all your health care providers, learn as much as you can about diabetes, exercise, follow a diet that has been approved by your doctor, and conduct tests regularly to check your blood sugar level.

Long Term Outlook

Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect almost every part of the body if not properly treated and controlled. Over the years it can lead to more serious health complications such as heart disease, kidney problems, and damage to the eyes and nerves. The good news is that research teams are continually working to improve treatments and methods. Also, a person with diabetes can live a happy normal life as long as they follow the treatment plan given to them by their physician.