Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs from the inability of the body to produce or use insulin, a hormone for regulating blood sugar or glucose. This often results in abnormal sugar levels.
Without proper management and ongoing treatment, diabetes c an result in the buildup of blood sugar, increasing the risk of health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Different types of diabetes affect people, and management strategies differ.
The most common types of diabetes include:
Diabete s type 1
Diabetes type 2
Although diabetes often results from lifestyle choices, genetics and other factors may cause diabetes. Other less common types of diabetes include:
Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes is known as juvenile diabetes. It occurs when the body ceases to produce insulin, and diagnosis is often during childhood. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin via an insulin pump or injections.
Presently, no cure is available for type 1 diabetes. Following diagnosis, people with type 1 diabetes need regular blood sugar level monitoring, insulin shots, and lifestyle changes to manage the condition.
Typical complications from type 1 diabetes include:
Car diovascular disease
Increased risk of skin infection
High blood pressure
Foot problems, including numbness
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is due to insufficient insulin production or ineffective insulin use and is the most prevalent diabetes type. It often results from obesity and other risk factors .
Persons with type 2 diabetes may not need insulin injections. In most cases, medication, a recommended diet, and exercise can help manage the condition.
Both adults and children develop type 2 diabetes, but the following are common risk factors.
Being 45 years or above
Gestation al diabetes results from less sensitivity to insulin in pregnant individuals. Approximately 2 – 10% of pregnancies result in gestational diabetes each year. People with a high BMI have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Ha lf of those with gestational diabetes end up with type 2 diabetes. You can take the following steps to manage gestational diabetes.
Maintain a healthy diet
Monitor blood sugar
Monitor fetal growth and development
Gestational diabetes also increases the risk of high blood pressure in pregnancy and can cause the following.
Increased birth weight
Increased risk of the baby having type 2 diabetes
Blood sugar problems in the baby, which often normalizes in a couple of days
Type 1 diabetes is not preventable, but taking certain steps for type 2 diabetes can cause prevention. Steps to prevent type 2 diabetes include:
Maintaining a healthy weight
Eating healthy foods low in satur ated fats and added sugar and avoiding processed foods
Taking the above steps can also reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes, but they do not offer absolute prevention.
Diabetes is a lifetime condition and can lead to several health complications, including severe conditions such as stroke and kidney failure, but it is manageable. People with diabetes can live a normal life provided they get the appropriate treatments and make the recommended lifestyle changes.