November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
Diabetes is a group of diseases that involve high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Every cell in your body needs energy to function. A healthy pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. When you eat, insulin is released into your bloodstream. Insulin helps to distribute glucose throughout your body. It also moves excess glucose to your liver for storage. Without insulin to move the glucose around, it builds up your bloodstream. This leaves your cells starved for energy.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a variety of serious complications. These include heart disease, stroke, and blindness.
Managing the disease requires keeping track of blood glucose levels. Treatment may include taking insulin or other medications. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise can also help manage diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
There are several types of diabetes. Each has something to do with insulin and blood glucose, but they’re not all the same.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. It used to be called juvenile diabetes. It is sometimes referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. There is no cure. If you have it, you must take insulin to survive.
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin, but it may not be enough. Some people produce insulin, but the body doesn’t use it effectively. Some, but not all people with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin. Most of the time, the disease can be successfully managed with treatment and healthy lifestyle choices.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), women with gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 20 years.
When blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes, you have prediabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In many cases, changes in diet and exercise can delay or prevent onset of the disease.
Causes and Risk Factors
Anyone can develop type 1 diabetes, but it’s usually diagnosed in childhood. Only about 5 percent of cases are diagnosed in adulthood. The exact cause is unknown. There is no cure or known prevention.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you get older. You’re also more likely to get it if you’ve had gestational diabetes or prediabetes. Other risk factors include being overweight or a family history of diabetes. You can’t completely eliminate the risk of type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet, weight control, and regular exercise may help prevent it.
Certain ethnicities are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include:
- Hispanic/Latino Americans
- Native Americans
- Hawaiian/Pacific Island Americans
- Asian Americans
Info on Type 2 Diabetes
Find Out About Type 2 Diabetes and a Treatment Option.
Among adults 20 to 74 years old, diabetes is the top cause of blindness, according to the NIDDK. Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure. Nervous system damage affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes. That can lead to a variety of nerve problems. Many people with diabetes have impaired sensation in the hands and feet or carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also cause digestive problems and erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes causes more than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Learn More at: http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/facts-statistics-infographic#2