Diabetes is term used for a group of diseases that impair the body’s ability to produce insulin, or respond to insulin. In both cases glucose levels — blood sugars — are not being properly regulated by the body. Your pancreas produces insulin to regulate the glucose levels in your body so it can absorb glucose into the muscle cells for energy, or to be converted into fat when necessary.
Maintaining a balance of glucose levels is crucial to maintaining your health. Too little insulin and our blood sugar levels soar — hyperglycemia — which can produce symptoms ranging from lightheadedness to nerve damage, to a diabetic coma. Too much insulin causes low blood sugars — hypoglycemia, blood sugars below 70 on your meter — and can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness.
There are 3 types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 is diagnosed if your body makes little to no insulin. It results from your immune system destroying the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Though once called juvenile-onset diabetes, type 1 diabetes can affect people at any age.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of your genetics and your environment. Research points to the possibility that a virus may trigger a process that activates the immune system to attack insulin-producing cells in thereby pancreas shutting down insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes
This type is diagnosed when your body does not make enough insulin for the body’s needs or your body is not using insulin in an effective way.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of one’s genetics and lifestyle choices. Carrying excess weight, lack of exercise and high-calorie consumption are a common profile of a type 2 diabetes patient.
Gestational diabetes is similar to type two diabetes with high blood sugar levels developing during pregnancy. It should be carefully monitored by your doctor to avoid health risks to mother and baby.
Common symptoms of diabetes are:
Treatment for type 1 diabetes may include taking insulin, blood sugar monitoring, diet controls and regular exercise to lose, or maintain a healthy weight. Type 2 diabetes treatment will sometimes include insulin in more extreme cases, but frequently medications like Metformin, Glimepiride, and others, along with blood sugar monitoring, a controlled diet, regular exercise and weight loss if necessary, will help control it.