November is Diabetes Awareness Month
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body processes sugar from the food that you eat. The three main types of diabetes are Type I Diabetes, Type II Diabetes, and gestational diabetes. However, all types of diabetes can lead to too much sugar in your blood.
Type I Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes is commonly referred to as “Juvenile Diabetes” because it is most often diagnosed in childhood. Adults can also be diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, although this is less common. Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and is thought to be genetic.
Medically, Type I diabetes occurs in the absence of pancreatic insulin or insufficiently low levels of pancreatic insulin. This allows for blood sugar to build up in the blood stream and causes high blood sugar.
Symptoms of Type I diabetes include frequent urination, constant thirst, bedwetting, vision changes, headaches, rapid weight loss, increased appetite, irritability, mood changes, fatigue, weakness, stomach pain/nausea/vomiting, fruity breath and rapid/heavy breathing.
Type I diabetes is diagnosed through urine or blood samples and is treated with the administration of insulin shots. It is also important to check your blood sugars daily so that they do not get too high. Additionally, it is important to exercise daily, eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables and manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Type II Diabetes
Anyone get become diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, but it is most commonly found in adults over the age of 45.
Medically, Type II diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. Your pancreas overproduces insulin and your blood sugar rises. Other conditions associated with Type II diabetes include vision loss, kidney disease, heart disease and poor circulation.
Symptoms of Type II diabetes include constant hunger, frequent urination, blurred vision, slow wound healing, fungal infections, itchy skin, unexplained weight loss and numbness in hands and feet.
Type II diabetes is usually diagnosed through blood testing and is treated with a combination of medical and social components. Medically, Type II diabetes is treated with the use of insulin or oral medications. Socially, it is treated through healthy eating, exercising daily and checking your blood sugars. It is also important to keep close tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce the risk of developing related disorders.
Gestational diabetes occurs among pregnant women who cannot produce enough insulin during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes most frequently occurs in women who have insulin resistance (but are not diabetic) prior to their pregnancy.
There usually aren’t symptoms of gestational diabetes so it is very important to get tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of delivering your baby by C-Section, can cause your baby to be born before their due date and may increase your baby’s chances of having low blood sugar and Type II diabetes.
Gestational diabetes increases your chances of developing Type II diabetes. Be sure to have your blood sugar tested 6-12 weeks post-partum and follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding additional yearly testing.
- Overview of Type 2 Diabetes
- Overview of Type One Diabetes
- Overview of Gestational Diabetes
- Resource connection for health insurance and lifestyle management
- CDC Diabetes Resource Library