The prevalence of diabetes has rapidly increased over the years. Currently, more than 34 million Americans are living with this condition. Symptoms like chronic wounds, fatigue, weight loss, and blurred vision are common for diabetes. Lack of treatment may lead to severe medical problems, including kidney failure and blindness. You can, however, manage diabetes with the help of your doctor at Integrated Family Medical Center and improve your overall health. Read this article further to know all you need to know about diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of chronic diseases that affects how your body utilizes glucose. There are different types of diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes
This type of diabetes is also referred to as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. You may develop this condition when your pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin hormone facilitates cellular glucose uptake. Symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Weight loss
Several factors may increase your chances of developing this type of diabetes, for example:
- Age. People of varying ages may develop type 1 diabetes; however, children between 4 and 7 years and adolescents have high chances of getting this disease.
- Family history. You may be at risk of developing this disease if your sibling or parent has the same condition.
Type 2 diabetes
This is a chronic illness in which there is a build-up of sugar in your blood. In type 2 diabetes, cells in your body do not respond to insulin, absorbing little sugar. There are no treatment methods for this disease; however, diet and physical exercise may help manage this condition. Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Dark skin on your neck and armpits
- Slow-healing wounds
- Numbness in your hands and feet
This condition occurs when you have a higher than normal sugar level but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. There are no symptoms of prediabetes. Factors such as lack of physical activity and obesity may increase your chances of developing this condition.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. This condition causes high blood sugar levels and may affect your health and that of the baby. You can manage gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods and taking prescribed medication. However, your sugar level may get back to normal after delivery. This condition may put both you and your baby at risk of:
- Breathing difficulties. Your baby may experience respiratory distress syndrome, which partially inhibits breathing.
- Preterm birth. Increased levels of sugar in your blood may result in early delivery.
- Surgical delivery. Your doctor may recommend a c-section if you have gestational diabetes because your baby may be bigger than usual.
- Hypoglycemia. Your baby’s blood sugar level may drop shortly after giving birth resulting in seizures. Your specialist may recommend a glucose solution to normalize the baby’s blood sugar.
Prevention of diabetes
- Several guidelines might help prevent diabetes, such as:
- Limit your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
- Engage in regular physical exercise since it makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid quenching thirst using sugary fluids.
- Stop smoking.
Reserve a session with your doctor at Integrated Family Medical Center to learn more about diabetes.