29 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes and 382 million people worldwide have it. Diabetes has become one of the leading chronic health conditions in the nation. It is a metabolic disease that results in high sugar levels in the blood. This kind of condition can be due to the following factors:
(a) Inadequate insulin production
(b) Body not responding to insulin
(c) Both (a) and (b)
Types of Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: This is an autoimmune disease where the immune system damages the cells in the pancreas where insulin is made.
Type 2 diabetes: This type of disease occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, causing the blood to accumulate sugar.
Prediabetes: This is when the blood sugar is higher than normal but not enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes: This occurs during pregnancy and the insulin-blocking hormones are responsible for this type of diabetes.
The symptoms, causes, and treatment are different for a different types of diabetes. The general symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst and hunger, drowsiness, fatigue, dry and itchy skin, frequent urination, vision problem, and slow-healing wounds. There can also be dark patches on the skin of the armpits and neck. The symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can appear at any age however, type 1 diabetes mostly occurs in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes is seen mostly in people above 45 years of age, but younger people are also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because of a sedentary lifestyle. Our expert physician Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD can work with you to develop a personalized plan as per your health.
Causes of diabetes:
The causes are different for different types of diabetes. A combination of genes and environmental variables, however, triggers diabetes.
Diabetes Type 1:
It is not yet known the exact cause behind type 2 diabetes. Owing to some reason the immune system attacks the pancreas thereby destroying insulin-producing beta cells. Genes might play some role in some cases while in some cases virus attack is also possible.
Type 2 diabetes:
This form of diabetes can arise from a mixture of genetics and lifestyle. The risk also increases for people who are obese or overweight. When a person is overweight then the cells become more resistant to insulin on blood sugar. This condition is transferable within family members.
Hormonal changes result in this form of diabetes during pregnancy. The placenta produces hormones that affect the insulin sensitivity of cells, which ultimately leads to high blood sugar during pregnancy. This usually happens to women who are overweight during pregnancy or who gain too much weight during pregnancy.
What is the treatment?
A person will have to take the aid of a professional in order to keep any type of diabetes under control. The main objective would be to maintain the level of blood sugar in the range. The range depends on the type of diagnosed diabetes. In the case of gestational diabetes, for instance, the blood sugar target is much lower. Physical operations are one of the most significant steps. To understand the level of physical activity and diet required, consultation with a doctor is required.
Treatment for type 1:
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can last a lifetime. The damage caused to the pancreas in case of type 1 diabetes is permanent and therefore insulin is required to live. One will have to inject insulin under the skin and the method will be shown by the doctor. The blood sugar levels must be checked throughout the day. There might also be a need for medications to control cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other complications. Schedule an appointment at Curewell Medical Center and visit our physician through the premium Telemedicine services powered by PatientMD.
Treatment for type 2:
This form of diabetes should be managed by exercise and diet. Such can also be treated with medication which will help the body in using insulin in a more effective way. Consultation with a doctor is required before taking any medication. Medications are also required for blood pressure and cholesterol.
Treatment for gestational diabetes:
The blood sugar level needs to be monitored a number of times throughout the day. If the level is high, the level may or may not be brought down by diet or exercise. Many women might also need insulin to lower the blood sugar level.
Remember, do not let a diabetes diagnosis get you down. With a few lifestyle changes, you can bring it under control. Do you want to know how your diabetes can best be managed? Our physicians can help you with a customized treatment plan.