When someone in your family has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering what exactly that means. And how it affects your loved one’s life. Diabetes mellitus is also called diabetes or just diabetes. It is a disease that causes too much glucose (a type of sugar) to build up in the blood and results in the body’s inability to use it properly. It’s not only one of the most common endocrine diseases. But one of the most common chronic diseases in general as well, affecting an estimated 29 million people or 8% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 79 in 2015 alone.
What Is It?
Diabetes mellitus, also known as Type II diabetes, is a metabolic disorder caused by high blood sugar levels. More specifically, it’s a condition in which glucose builds up in your bloodstream. Because your body either can’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin correctly. The bottom line is that diabetes means there isn’t enough of a key hormone (insulin) that enables you to effectively convert food into energy for daily life. If you can’t adequately turn food into energy (to fuel work, exercise, and play). You get sick and tired—and if left untreated, serious complications arise.
A person with diabetes has at least twice as much blood glucose (sugar) as normal in their blood and cannot use it properly. In other words, they have something called insulin resistance. This is where more insulin is required by our body so that cells can take up glucose from circulation. In addition, our body’s cells become resistant to the hormone insulin that triggers the uptake of glucose into our cells.
Obesity and lack of regular exercise are the main reasons for Type 2 diabetes. More than one-third of American adults are obese, including about 17 percent of children. According to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Less commonly, people develop Type 2 diabetes because they have another condition that keeps their body from responding correctly to insulin or makes too much of it.
Some types of medications can also cause blood sugar levels to rise over time. Doctors will look at your family history when determining what’s causing your high blood sugar levels. Diet plans help you manage your blood sugar better. These include healthy eating, weight loss, and exercise regimens so you won’t have as many high-blood-sugar reactions.
Diabetes is a condition that is caused by changes in your body’s ability to produce and use insulin. Researchers are learning that there are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing diabetes. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being over age 45, having a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity.
For example, if you have an obese parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes and you are overweight yourself. You may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, studies show that children who are obese by early adolescence have up to 10 times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life than do normal-weight children.
Type 1 Vs. Type 2
While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are both serious health conditions, there are some major differences between them. Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. Since it typically occurs in children and young adults under age 30 but can develop at any age. The main difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is that in people with type 1, their pancreas stops producing insulin. It is necessary for cells in your body to get energy from glucose (sugar).
People with type 2 have insulin resistance or an insulin deficiency. Their bodies don’t make enough insulin or use it effectively. The most common symptoms of both types of diabetes include constant thirst and frequent urination. Because your body is trying to flush out excess sugar from your blood.
Treatments and Prevention
The two primary goals of diabetes treatment are reducing your risk of complications and maintaining blood glucose within a target range. Learn about how medications, insulin therapy, and glucose monitoring methods. And diet affects blood sugar levels in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you have about how to control your disease at home.
Regardless of whether you are prescribed medication or decide on an alternative approach (like yoga or acupuncture), avoiding long-term complications is always important. For example, high blood pressure and cholesterol can lead to heart disease. It is why controlling these numbers is vital in preventing heart attack or stroke.
Diabetes is not only an issue of blood sugar levels. People who have high levels of glucose in their blood do not always exhibit signs of diabetes. So doctors rely on a diagnostic test called an A1C level to detect diabetes. An A1C blood test measures your average blood sugar levels over three months and is used by doctors and health care professionals as an indicator for monitoring and diagnosing diabetes.
An elevated A1C level may be one of several symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes. So if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes or at risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Your doctor may want you to undergo additional testing with a hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) test.
Unmanaged, it can lead to serious health problems and even death. Today, there are more than 400 million people worldwide with diabetes; by 2040, that number could double. Of those who live with diabetes today, 90% have type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes). This condition usually develops in middle age and beyond—and it’s preventable and treatable. The earlier you diagnose type 2 diabetes, before complications occur, the better your chances of living longer and staying healthy over time. But make no mistake: Most cases of type 2 can be prevented or delayed simply by being more active and eating well.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Levels
The first step in managing diabetes is frequent monitoring of your blood sugar levels, also known as A1C testing. Frequent monitoring will help you establish how different foods, medications, and activities affect your blood sugar levels. Without taking it frequently enough, you won’t know what steps need to be taken in order to keep your numbers on target.
If left untreated, high blood sugar can cause serious complications like eye problems and heart disease that could lead to hospitalization or even death. A healthy diet can slow down or even prevent these life-threatening conditions from happening at all.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce. The cause of diabetes isn’t completely understood, but genetics and obesity seem to play major roles. A variety of complications can arise due to diabetes, including heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, and nerve damage.
Diabetes is a costly disease — an estimated $245 billion in annual medical costs in 2010 were directly attributed to diabetes and its complications. In order for diabetic patients and their doctors to manage their illness well, they need a good understanding of what causes it and how it affects someone’s health over time. This article has discussed what causes type 2 diabetes along with symptoms, prevention tips, and treatments for type 1 diabetes.
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