What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes
Normally, the body uses insulin to help muscle and fat cells take up glucose to use as energy, says Erica Weitzner, MD, an endocrinologist at Summit Medical Group in New Jersey. When you develop diabetes, your body stops using insulin effectively, which allows sugar to build up in your bloodstream.
- Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas fails to produce insulinthe immune system destroys the cells that produce it. Previously known as juvenile diabetes, it can occur at any age.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells do not respond as well to insulin as they should, and additional insulin is required to achieve the same effect as before, Dr. Weitzner explains. It mainly affects adults.
- Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant womans hormones affect her ability to produce enough insulin for her body. Around 7% of women develop gestational diabetes.
Other Signs Of Diabetes
Pay attention if you find yourself feeling drowsy or lethargic pain or numbness in your extremities vision changes fruity or sweet-smelling breath which is one of the symptoms of high ketones and experiencing nausea or vomitingas these are additional signs that something is not right. If theres any question, see your doctor immediately to ensure that your blood sugar levels are safe and rule out diabetes.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes, it’s important to get tested. When you spot the condition early, you can avoid nerve damage, heart trouble, and other complications.
As a general rule, call your doctor if you:
- Feel sick to your stomach, weak, and very thirsty
- Are peeing a lot
- Have a bad belly ache
- Are breathing more deeply and faster than normal
- Have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover
Cleveland Clinic: “Diabetes: Frequently Asked Questions” and “What Is Diabetes?”Ã Ã¢â¬ÅDiabetes: Preventing Complications,Ã¢â¬ï¿½ Ã¢â¬ÅHyperglycemia .Ã¢â¬ï¿½
University of Michigan Health System: “Type 1 Diabetes.”
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: “Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes.”
Baylor Scott & White Healthcare: “Urinary Frequency” and “Diabetes and Diabetic Neuropathy Hard-to-Heal Wounds.”
Sutter Health: “Question & Answer: Is Sudden Weight Loss a Sign of Diabetes? If So, Why?”
Neithercott, T. Diabetes Forecast, August 2013.
University of Rochester Medical Center: “Diabetic Skin Troubles.”
Joslin Diabetes Center: “Diseases of the Eye” and “Diabetic Neuropathy: What You Need to Know.”
The Nemours Foundation: “When Blood Sugar Is Too High.”
Virginia Mason Medical Center: “Complications.”
Carolinas Health System: “Diabetes: Yeast Infections and Diabetes: What You Should Know.”
Geisinger Health: Ã¢â¬Å3 reasons diabetic wounds are slow to heal.Ã¢â¬ï¿½
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Maybe It’s A Different Type
If you or someone you know is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but isnt responding well to the typical treatments for type 2 diabetes, it may be worth a visit to an endocrinologist to determine what type of diabetes is happening. Generally, this requires antibody tests and possibly the measurement of a C-peptide level.
You Feel Hungry All The Time
Hormone imbalance & the mental distress caused by hyper- or hypoglycemia can also lead to severe hunger pangs.
You might experience sudden urges to snack on your favorite junk foods, typically at night, or when youre stressed out. Besides, when your body burns excess fat, youll naturally feel hungry more often.
If you dont eat nutritious foods to regulate blood sugar, theres a chance of increased weight and obesity. It further raises the risk of diabetic health complications.
In short, diabetes is directly linked to your diet. The healthier you eat, the easier it is to manage the sugar levels.
If you notice any significant changes in your eating habits, it might be one of the early signs of diabetes that need your attention.
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Diabetes can be managed through oral medications. In addition to insulin, metformin, which is a sugar-reducing agent, is also a common treatment for diabetes. It is considered a first-line therapy for diabetes treatment and is often added to insulin. It is important to know the risks of taking diabetes medications. Some drugs can be addictive, so you must consult your doctor before taking any medication. Your physician can prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan based on your medical history.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and check your blood glucose levels on a regular basis. Your A1c level will be checked every six months and your cholesterol levels will be tested regularly. Your doctor will also look for any signs of retinopathy, which is damage to the nerves in the eye caused by diabetes. You will also be examined for any foot problems. It is important to see a foot specialist regularly. Your feet should be thoroughly inspected for damage to the nerves.
While the first two types of insulin are the most common treatments, diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure, which can protect the kidneys. Other types of medication include aspirin and other types of anti-platelet drugs. If your doctor is concerned about your blood sugar level, you may need to try a different medication. Some medications can cause side effects. Your treatment will depend on what type of insulin you need.
How Does Diabetes Affect The Body
When someone has diabetes, their body cant maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar which is the main source of energy for our bodies. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can lead to long term and short term health complications.
For our bodies to work properly we need to convert sugars from food into energy. Sugars from food are converted into glucose. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy. In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body. When people with diabetes eat foods that contain sugars or starches, such as breads, cereals, fruit and starchy vegetables and sweets, it cant be converted into energy and the level of glucose in their blood rises and is harmful to them.
Instead of being turned into energy the glucose stays in the blood resulting in high blood glucose levels. After eating, the glucose is carried around your body in your blood. Your blood glucose level is called glycaemia. Blood glucose levels can be monitored and managed through self care and treatment.
Three things you need to know about diabetes:
- It is not one condition- there are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes
- All types of diabetes are complex and require daily care and management
- Diabetes does not discriminate, anyone can develop diabetes
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What Can Increase Your Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
The Mayo Clinic lists the following factors:
Weight.Excess body fat makes the body resistant to the effects of insulin, which can eventually result in high blood glucose levels over time and the development of diabetes. This is the reason why lifestyle modifications, through diet and exercise, and weight loss are emphasized, along with medications for diabetes,” says Dr. Kalyani.
Family history. Does a parent or sibling have type 2 diabetes? Then youre at increased risk.
Lack of exercise. The less you move around, the greater your risk is. Exercise is key in three ways: It helps you keep your weight under control it helps your body use up glucose as energy and as the Mayo Clinic says, it makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
Race or ethnicity. Dr. Kalyani notes that Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and Native American people are at higher risk.
Gestational diabetes. Did you develop this when you were pregnant? Women with a history of gestational diabetes are at an especially high risk of developing type 2 diabetes during their lifetime, says Dr. Kalyani. Same thing if your wee one weighed in at more than 9 pounds at birth.
Age. As you get up in years, your chance of diabetes increases. Maybe youre exercising less, putting on pounds, and losing muscle mass. But know this: As Dr. Kalyani points out, kids, teens, and young adults are seeing their rates increase, so age isnt everything.
Early Warning: A Look At The First Signs Of Diabetes
With rates of diabetes among American adults topping 10% by some estimates, the odds that you or someone you know has diabetes are high. The question is, could you have diabetes without knowing it? Unlike some other medical conditions, the early signs of diabetes can be as subtle as needing to drink more water than normal.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have any of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, it is important to get checked by your healthcare provider. The tests used to check for diabetes are simple blood tests. There are different screening tests available to test for diabetes and prediabetes.
- The hemoglobin A1C test is a blood test that looks at the average of your blood glucose levels over the past three months. You do not have to be fasting for this test. Its also used as a measure of diabetes management.
- The fasting blood glucose test checks your blood glucose level after not eating for eight to 12 hours, usually overnight. Its also used to monitor blood glucose levels with diabetes.
- The oral glucose tolerance test is a blood test performed after fasting overnight and then drinking a beverage provided by your healthcare provider that is high in sugar. Blood samples are then drawn several times over two to three hours.
- The random blood glucose test is a blood test that checks your blood sugar level at a single point in time, fasting or not. Results of this test can vary widely depending on several factors, such as food intake. This test is only used for diabetes diagnosis when other classic symptoms of diabetes are also present.
Is There A Test To Diagnose Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
Your doctor or other healthcare provider will order urine and blood tests find out if you have diabetes. There are several different types of blood tests used to diagnose diabetes.
- Fasting blood sugar test: After fasting for 12-hours a glucose level is checked in your blood. If it is high, it is indicative of diabetes.
- Hemoglobin A1C test: This test tells your doctor how your average blood glucose level has been over the past 2-3 months.
- Normal ranges for HbA1c are between 4% and 5.6%.
- HbA1c levels that range from 5.7% to 6.4% indicates increased risk of diabetes.
- HbA1c levels higher than 6.5% indicate diabetes, while higher percentages indicate either worsening diabetic disease or poor response to diabetic treatments.
- Random blood sugar test: This is a test of your blood sugar at the moment your blood is drawn, but this number can vary greatly based on when you last ate.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: This test is rarely used in men, but it measures your bodys response to a large amount of glucose.
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Increased And More Frequent Urination:
A significant increase in the number of times you urinate is the most common sign of Type 2 Diabetes.
When the sugar levels in the blood are too high, then the kidneys cannot keep up with the amount of glucose and try to remove the excess sugar from the blood which leads to an individual to urinate more often.
An average individual urinates 5-7 times in a day, if you feel like urinating immediately after you just went, it can be a warning sign.
The production of more urine can also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
You should consider getting yourself examined by a doctor if you notice that you need to go to the bathroom more often than you used to before.
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Youre Suddenly Losing Weight
Fluctuating weight is also a shocking symptom of diabetes in women thats often ignored.
Low levels of insulin affect sugar absorption and energy generation. So your body finds new ways to replace glucose. The easiest way is to burn excess fat and use it to generate energy, causing sudden weight loss.
If youve lost up to 5% or more of your body weight within a short period, it could be a sign of too high blood sugar levels.
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How Do Diabetes Symptoms Differ According To Age
Type 1 diabetes is most likely to develop during childhood or adolescence, and the risk of having type 2 diabetes increases after the age of 45 years. However, it is possible for either type to affect a person at any age.
There has been an increase in the onset of type 2 diabetes in younger people in recent years. Studies show that these people are more likely to develop complications faster and at a younger age, compared with people with type 1 diabetes and those who develop type 2 at a later stage.
Effective blood sugar management and healthful lifestyle habits can help reduce the risk of complications for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes at any age.
The blood flows to all parts of the body, and high blood sugar can cause damage in many areas for both men and women.
Type 2 Diabetes And Eye Damage
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the tiny blood vessels within the retina of the eye due to high blood sugar levels over time. This can cause progressive and permanent vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of new blindness in people between 20 and 74. This image shows pools of blood, or hemorrhages, in the retina.
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Youve Had Many Infections In A Short Period
You might also become increasingly prone to infections as high blood sugar weakens the immune system. Spikes in sugar lead to hyperglycemia which makes your organs susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.
If youve noticed frequent infections within a short time, this may be a symptom of diabetes.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
In a study in Japan, green tea leaf extract was shown to reduce the risk for Type 2 Diabetes significantly.
In another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, drinking caffeinated green tea may help reduce your chances of type-2 diabetes.
Green tea has long been known for weight loss and thus helps people with type-2 diabetes get their blood sugar levels under control.
The catechins present in green tea help reduce the effects of insulin resistance by decreasing digestion and absorbing carbohydrates.
Green tea also has an antioxidant called polyphenol that contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Polyphenols help protect our cells from damage.
It may have a calming effect on the mind and body as it contains amino-acid L-theanine, which is said to reduce anxiety and stress.
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Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakes the cells in your pancreas as harmful and attacks them.
Without insulin, your body will break down its own fat and muscle, resulting in weight loss. This can lead to a serious short-term condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This is when the bloodstream becomes acidic, you develop dangerous levels of ketones in your blood stream and become severely dehydrated.
This results in the body being unable to produce insulin, which is required to move glucose out of the blood and into your cells to be used for energy. This is called Type 1 diabetes.
Read more about the causes of type 1 diabetes
Lifestyle Changes To Avoid Diabetes
Early symptoms are not a death sentence, particularly in the case of type 2 diabetes. Paying attention to early symptoms of diabetes can allow you to make lifestyle changes before you begin suffering from some of the more serious complications of diabetes.
If you have a family history of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart disease, and other such health problems, you may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Paying attention to early symptoms, and talking to your healthcare provider can help you take action to support your own wellness and avoid some of the more frightening consequences of diabetes such as diabetic neuropathy, heart disease, and vision loss .
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How To Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
If you know what are the early signs of diabetes, then it becomes so much easier to control it.
Its easier than you think to keep your blood sugar levels in control.
Make it a habit to check your blood sugar levels regularly to know whether your blood sugar levels are in range or not.
It would alert you of any dangerous high or low in your blood sugar levels.
If you are being treated for diabetes, it is always better to take your medicines and eat your food in time without failure.
If you have taken your medication, but forgot to take your meal in time, your blood sugar levels may drop significantly in a short period.
Also, if you are on medication, dont do exercise more than usual as it may lower your blood sugar.
Here are some of the best-performing blood sugar monitors available in the market.
You may check them here.
Taking meals at regular intervals and as suggested in your meal plan can help keep your
blood sugar levels in control.
See a dietitian and get your meal plan prepared and follow it.