According to the American Diabetes Association, 26 million children and adults are currently living with diabetes in the United States. Diabetes is chronic condition in which blood sugar levels are high. Types 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes are the three main kinds of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, is known as juvenile diabetes, and is diagnosed mostly in children, adolescents, or young adults. Type 2 diabetes is known as the adult onset of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed among pregnant women, whose bodies are either not making enough insulin needed to change glucose into energy or insulin is being blocked by pregnancy hormones. Therefore, causing a buildup of glucose in the blood stream. Unlike, type 1 and type 2, in gestational diabetes blood sugar levels return to normal after delivery among most women.
In order to understand diabetes better, it is important to know what happens inside our bodies. In a non-diabetic’s body, after food has been digested, glucose enters the bloodstream to be used as energy by the body. Then the insulin produced by the pancreas is used to move the glucose from the blood stream and into the liver, fat, or muscle cells to be stored as energy. However, a person who has developed diabetes, their body is unable to move the glucose out of the blood stream because either their pancreas is not making enough insulin or the body’s cells are not responding to the insulin.
Some early warning signs of diabetes are urinating frequently, being extremely thirsty, blurred vision, fatigue, cuts or bruises that heal slowly, feeling tired, and numbness or tingling in hands.
Pre-diabetes is a stage in which people have high glucose levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. During this stage without any intervention, the pre-diabetes diagnosis can become a diabetes diagnosis. This stage should be the patent’s cue to action to reverse the condition. Changing your lifestyle, increasing physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent the onset of diabetes.
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- Diabetes in pregnancy (bupa.com.au)
- Demystifying childhood diabetes: the facts about type 1 vs type 2 (bupa.com.au)