A Guide to Understanding Diabetes disease

Aug 23, 2023 | 0 comments

Our body needs the energy to survive. Where does that energy come from? Food, of course! Food is broken down into tiny molecules of sugar called glucose; from glucose, we get energy. Diabetes disease is, actually, a group of diseases that arise due to abnormal levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

Glucose levels in the blood are controlled by the hormone insulin, which is produced in small amounts by the pancreas. People with diabetes either do not produce the sugar-regulating hormone, or the cells in their body have, unfortunately, become immune to it. This results in the fundamental problem behind the condition: too much sugar in a person’s blood.

Diabetes is a life-long disease with approximately 415 million people being afflicted with it all over the world – that’s 1 in 11 people! There are two main types of diabetes, simply referred to as Type 1 and Type 2. We’ve explained what they are and the difference between them below.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes disease

In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreatic cells in the body are unable to produce insulin (because they’re destroyed by the immune system). Afflicted people are dependent on external insulin injections to stay healthy.

Type 1 is commonly diagnosed during childhood and adolescence and usually develops in people who have diabetes disease in their family. For example, having diabetic parents increases the chance of diagnosis.

In lesson common cases, Type 1 diabetes also occurs due to coming into contact with something in the environment. The immune system becomes activated and attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thus resulting in diabetes.

Approximately 10% of all diabetes disease cases account for Type 1 diabetes in children. It’s spread evenly among boys and girls and is mainly characterized by a deficiency in blood sugar.

Type 2 Diabetes: Not Dependent on Insulin

Unlike people with Type 1, people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes disease are able to (some extent) produce insulin. The problem, however, lies in the fact that the amount of insulin produced is either not enough, or else the person’s body has become resistant to insulin.

When there is not enough insulin in the bloodstream or the body doesn’t absorb it as it should, the levels of glucose in the blood increase (since there’s no one to stop them) which results in the disease.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, with approximately 18 million Americans being affected. It usually occurs in people over the age of 40 and with existing health conditions like obesity.

In many cases, doctors are able to predict the onset of Type 2 diabetes and detect it during early stages (pre-diabetes) when blood sugar levels in the body are slightly higher than normal. This type can be prevented by doing regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and controlling your weight.

Unfortunately, even though Type 2 diabetes occurs most commonly in adults, nowadays it is also being diagnosed in children. It is extremely important to promote healthy eating and fitness in schools, to prevent obesity in younger people so that they become less prone to being afflicted with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes: Gestational diabetes disease

Aside from the conditions above, there is a third type of diabetes which sometimes happens in pregnant women. Gestational diabetes is triggered due to the changing hormones in the body during pregnancy. The chances of developing it increase in women who are over 25 years old, have a family history of diabetes or were overweight before their pregnancy.

Blood sugars usually return to normal approximately 6 weeks after childbirth; It does, however, result in an increased chance of the mother developing Type 2 diabetes afterward. Approximately 4% of women are affected by Gestational Diabetes Worldwide.

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