Diabetes can strike anyone, at any time in life. It afflicts more than 422 million people, worldwide and WHO estimates this number will more than double by 2030. It is a common hormonal problem which if left untreated can lead to several complications such as diabetic neuropathy, kidney problems, heart problems, eye problems and many more. At advanced stages, diabetes can cause kidney failure, amputation, blindness and even stroke. Read here the detailed explanation of What Is Diabetes? And Signs and Symptoms Of Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes.

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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes means a metabolic condition of having higher than normal blood sugar levels. This is a chronic, fatal disease that occurs when the body doesn’t make any or enough insulin, resulting in an excess of sugar in the blood.

Most food that you eat is converted into glucose, or sugar, for the body to use for energy. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin which helps the cells of the body use the glucose (sugar) from food. Cells need this energy to function properly.

In diabetes, the glucose cannot be used as fuel for the cells as the body either doesn’t make enough or any insulin or doesn’t use insulin very well. Hence, over time this causes sugars to build up in the bloodstream.

Eventually, the high blood sugar caused by excessive amounts of glucose in the blood leads to a variety of serious health complications for the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, amputations and blood vessels. Diabetes has no cure, but you can do many things to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.

There are different reasons for people to get high blood glucose levels and so a number of different types of diabetes exist. Some types of diabetes are – prediabetes, type 1, type 2, gestational (pregnancy) diabetes and many others.

Most Common Types Of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin. This type is often referred to insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that produces insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually seen in children and young adults or even it may develop before the 40th year or any age. People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin injections every day for the rest of their life. Type 1 diabetes is uncommon and about 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.

Type 2 diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, your body does not produce or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even in childhood. However, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also greater in middle-aged and older people. Some people can control their type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring their blood glucose levels. But this is typically a progressive disease which can gradually worsen. The person with type 2 diabetes will probably end up having to take insulin, in tablet form. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and almost 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are type 2.

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Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes may develop in some women during pregnancy. Some women have high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, women who had gestational diabetes are at a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy can also be type 2 diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms Of Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can appear suddenly, over weeks or sometimes days. But Type 2 diabetes often doesn’t cause symptoms as they develop gradually and is identified on routine screening.

The 3 main signs of diabetes are

  • Increased thirst ( polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Tiredness

Common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Nausea, perhaps vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • In women, frequent vaginal infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area.

Type 1 diabetes symptoms are

  • High levels of sugar in the blood and urine
  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Weakness and Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea especially Vomiting
  • Irritability

Type 2 diabetes symptoms include

  • Thirst and regular urge to urinate
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Skin infections
  • Blurry vision
  • Tingling or dry skin
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Numbness in feet

Diabetes is incurable but certain healthy lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, sleep, and other habits can help improve blood sugar control and prevent or minimize complications from diabetes.