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Did You Know There Are Three Different Types of Diabetes? Learn About the Symptoms And How To Best Manage Them.

The most common disorder of the endocrine system is diabetes and it occurs when the body’s blood sugar levels are consistently above normal.   Diabetes is a chronic condition brought on by either the body’s inability to make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body not responding to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes), and sometimes in pregnancy, and it affects 463 million people worldwide (Gestational diabetes)

The insulin hormone is made by the pancreas and it enables your body to use sugar (glucose) for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin keeps your blood sugar level from being too high (hyperglycemia) or too low hypoglycemic. 

There are 3 types of diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system. People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar.
  • Type 2 diabetes is most common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases and is caused by the body not making good use of the insulin it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is a healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and a healthy diet. However, over time many people with type 2 diabetes will benefit from oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control. In recent years the instances of type 2 diabetes in youth is growing in large part to poor diet and lack of exercise in children. 
  • Gestational diabetes happens due to hormone changes during pregnancy that affect the proper use of insulin and occurs in 6-9% of all pregnancies. Women who are over 25, are overweight before pregnancy, have a family history of diabetes, or are Hispanic, Black, Native American, or Asian.

The symptoms for type 1 diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger especially after meals
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision

The symptoms for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Itchy skin
  • Yeast infections
  • Recent weight gain
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction

The symptoms of gestational diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision

Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be treated and well managed. Keys to diabetes management include:

  • Balance food intake with diabetes medicine and physical activity to keep blood sugar at normal levels
  • Manage blood cholesterol and triglyceride level, keeping them in the normal range with clean eating and limiting all processed foods, added sugars, and saturated fats.
  • Maintain your blood pressure levels below 130/80

Management of diabetes is within your control and should be done in concert with your doctor. Your treatment plan might include some or all of the following:

  • A clean and balanced eating plan
  • A regular and consistent exercise regimen
  • Prescribed medicine, adhering to guidelines on when to take it
  • Home monitoring of blood glucose and blood pressure levels
  • Regular health screenings and follow-ups, including lab work

With consistent attention and food intake monitoring, exercise, medicine, and doctor visits, you can successfully monitor and manage your diabetes. Amy Jordan shares an inspiring story of how she lives with type 1 diabetes in this interview with everyday diabetescontact her today to learn more about how she manages her diabetes successfully.

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