What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient levels of insulin to prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). The 2 main types of diabetes that we are going to look at are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both have similar signs, symptoms, and consequences but different causes.
What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that starts when the pancreas stops making insulin. Insulin allows blood sugar, also called glucose, to enter your cells to be used for energy. Without insulin, the cells can’t get the sugar they need, and too much sugar builds up in the blood.
Over time, high blood sugar can cause damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels and nerves. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but usually starts as a child or young adult. It is also referred to as Juvenile Diabetes. There isn’t a cure for type 1 diabetes but with the proper medication and diet, patients can live a long and healthy life. Symptoms of diabetes are:
Being very thirsty.
Urinating a lot.
Losing weight without trying.
Being hungrier than usual (sometimes).
There are many types of insulin that are available for the treatment of diabetes, including rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin and intermediate options. Examples include regular insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R, others), insulin isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N), insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin aspart (NovoLog) and insulin glargine (Lantus).
What is Type 2 diabetes?
Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 is a life long disease but it can be preventable. More and more adults and children are getting type 2 diabetes. This is largely because of bad eating habits and a lack of physical activity. It is important to know if you or your children are at risk for type 2 diabetes and to know what you can do to help prevent the disease.
If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes or if you have prediabetes, you may be able to prevent diabetes by getting regular exercise and paying attention to what and how much you eat. If you are overweight, losing a little weight (10 to 20 pounds) can go a long way toward preventing or delaying the disease. The key to treating type 2 diabetes is controlling blood sugar levels. All of the following help to lower blood sugar:
Eating healthy foods
Losing weight, if you are overweight
Getting regular exercise
In some cases, taking medicines
Prescription drugs help help fight the battle against diabetes but an overall healthy lifestyle goes a long way to improving your quality and length of life.