Author - dambindi

What is type 1 diabetes

Definition Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production fails to produce insulin or produces insufficient amounts of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows the cells to use and absorb glucose, without sufficient insulin, glucose cannot be absorbed into the cells. Once diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a person will require insulin administration for the duration of their life. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is more common among children, adolescents and young adults. Diagnosis Only a blood test can detect determine the state of your health with certainty. The test measures the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood and can be administered at your local pharmacy or clinic.  Symptoms  While Type 1 diabetes requires a medical diagnosis, some symptoms may include: 
  • increased thirst 
  • weight loss 
  • fatigue 
  • frequent urination 
  • blurred vision or problems with one’s vision 
  • nausea or vomiting 
Treatment  As the body no longer produces the hormone insulin, people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin several times a day. Insulin can be administered through multiple daily injections, or via insulin pump therapy.  Management  You will be required to monitor your blood sugar regularly, a doctor can advise on how often you should do this, as well as provide guidance on target blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to the target as possible will help you prevent or delay diabetes-related complications. Although stress is considered a part of daily life, it can make diabetes a lot harder to manage. Getting enough rest through sleep, physical activity and making healthy food options can help manage stress levels.  NB: It is important to note that the administration of an insulin shot should be considered carefully. A doctor can help create an effective time schedule for a person diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to best manage their blood sugar levels. What is diabetes Definition Diabetes is a condition that results when the level of glucose in the blood is too high. Types of diabetes One can develop three major diabetes types: Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes: Also referred to as juvenile diabetes, this type occurs when the body fails to produce any or enough insulin. In this instance, the body works against itself, attacking the pancreas, the organ that produces insulin. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin treatment throughout the course of their life. Type 2 diabetes: In type 2 diabetes the body is able to produce insulin however, the cells develop a resistance to insulin which results in sugar build up in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood glucose movement into cells which later convert sugar into energy. An interruption in this process means that excessive amounts of sugar build up in the blood and the body cannot use this for energy production. This is considered the most common type of diabetes, with strong links to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Gestational diabetes: This is a type of diabetes that results from high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It does not occur in all women, and most women do not experience symptoms as it usually clears after giving birth. Symptoms Each type of diabetes carries its unique symptoms, causes, and treatments. Some commonly occurring symptoms include:
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • blurry vision
  • extreme fatigue
Complications If left untreated or undiagnosed, possible complications from diabetes may include:
  • Heart disease: Diabetes increases the risk of various heart problems, including chest pain and stroke.
  • Kidney damage: The kidneys blood vessels clusters that filter any waste that may be found in the blood. Diabetes can damage this filtering system and intense damage may result in kidney failure. Some kidney damage can prove irreversible, resulting in the need for a transplant or dialysis treatment. 
  • Eye damage: Diabetes can lead to potential blindness by damaging the blood vessels found in the retina. Additionally, diabetes can increase susceptibility to sight problems such as glaucoma and cataracts. 
  • Diabetes may make one more susceptible to skin conditions such as skin darkening, bacterial and fungal infections.
Treatment and management While there is no permanent cure for the condition, diabetes can be managed by:
  • Lifestyle change can help you in controlling blood sugar levels.
  • avoiding smoking
  • taking medications as prescribed, including insulin.
  • maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • engaging in regular physical activity
  • getting enough rest through sleep
Regular blood sugar testing to monitor the effectiveness of the prescribed mode of treatment is also advised. What is type 2 diabetes Definition In type 2 diabetes the body is able to produce insulin however, the cells develop a resistance to insulin which results in sugar build up in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood glucose movement into cells which later convert sugar into energy. An interruption in this process means that excessive amounts of sugar build up in the blood and the body cannot use this for energy production. Type 2 diabetes is also genetic, meaning that it can be inherited. Some common risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood fat levels
  • gestational diabetes 
  • high alcohol consumption
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • family history with type 2 diabetes
  • aging: type 2 diabetes is more likely to appear at about age 45.
Symptoms The symptoms for type 2 diabetes develop gradually, while not all symptoms match in individual patients, common ones can include:
  • increased hunger: as the cells are not able to breakdown glucose to produce energy, body organs will have reduced energy levels, causing the individual to feel hungrier than usual.
  •  cuts and bruises that are slow to heal or disappear
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • blurry vision
  • fatigue
Treatment Type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed via routine blood tests that measure blood glucose levels.  Treatment for type 2 diabetes is geared towards maintaining steady blood glucose levels. This can be done by adopting a healthier, less sedentary lifestyle to include: 
  • pursuing a balanced diet, low in carbohydrates.
  • maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • engaging in regular physical activity
  • getting enough rest through sleep
  • avoiding smoking
  • taking medications as prescribed, including insulin.
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