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Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. There is type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the United States.

 

Symptoms

Visit your physician for diagnosis. Symptoms associated with diabetes include an unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, unexplained changes in vision, unexplained weight loss, numbness in hands or feet, feeling tired often and very dry skin.

 

Risk Factors

Diabetes risk factors depend on the type of diabetes.

 

Type 1 Diabetes
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. The risk of developing type 1 diabetes is higher if you have a parent or sibling who has type 1 diabetes. Environmental factors, such as exposure to a viral illness, also likely play some role in type 1 diabetes.

 

Other factors that increase risk:

  • Damaging immune system cells that make auto-antibodies
  • Dietary factors
  • Race and geography

 

Type 2 Diabetes  

  • Weight
  • Inactivity
  • Race and age
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history

 

Prevention

Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk. The same healthy choices that help treat pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes can help prevent them, like eat healthy foods, get more physical activity, and lose excess pounds.

 

Treatments
Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin injections or an insulin pump. Treatment of type 2 diabetes involves monitoring of your blood sugar, along with diabetes medications, insulin or both.

 

  • Healthy eating. Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains — foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories are extremely helpful in managing blood sugar.
  • Physical activity. Regular aerobic exercise is very helpful. Exercise lowers your blood sugar level by transporting sugar to your cells, where it’s used for energy.
  • Monitoring your blood sugar. Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar level several times a week to three or more times a day.
  • Insulin. Most people with type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy to survive. Some people with type 2 diabetes also need insulin therapy.
  • Oral or other medications. Sometimes other oral or injected medications are prescribed as well. Some diabetes medications stimulate your pancreas to produce and release more insulin.
  • Transplantation. Some people who have type 1 diabetes may require a pancreas transplant.

 

 

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

JDRF

Mayo Clinic