According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The CDC estimates that more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and about one in four doesn’t know it. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and other health problems. But there are ways to prevent or delay its onset, and treatments can help people manage the disease.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot properly process sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because the body cannot use the insulin it does produce effectively. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, and if left untreated, can damage the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, usually develops in childhood or adolescence. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. People with Type 1 must take daily injections of insulin to stay alive.
Type 1 Diabetes: Signs And Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence.
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over a period of weeks. They include:
• Increased thirst and urination. Your body flushes out excess sugar through your urine. As a result, you may feel the need to drink more fluids than usual, which may cause frequent urination.
• Extreme hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs are depleted of energy. This may trigger extreme hunger.
• Weight loss (despite increased appetite). Your body breaks down muscle and fat for energy, causing rapid weight loss.
Type 2 Diabetes: Signs And Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body metabolizes sugar. It can often be managed with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, but some people may also need medication.
Gestational Diabetes: Signs And Symptoms
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It can cause serious health problems for both mother and child.
The most common symptom of gestational diabetes is high blood sugar levels.
If you have any of the above signs, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious complications.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This may include lifestyle changes, medication, and regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels. Treatment plans vary from person to person, and what works for one person may not work for another.
The most important thing you can do is to learn as much as you can about the disease and how to manage it. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make healthy choices and avoid complications.