Diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans and is a lifelong, chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Type I and Type 2 Diabetes differ; however, they both require medical attention. Type I diabetes occurs when there is a lack of insulin, due to the destruction of the insulin producing cells, thus causing high glucose levels in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to the insulin that is being produced. In either type of diabetes, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, thus causing cells to not get the glucose that they need.
Type I diabetes is most often diagnosed in children, teens or young adults. In this type of disease, the body produces little or no insulin and daily injections of insulin are needed. The exact cause of this type of diabetes is unknown. Medical professionals believe that it is most likely an autoimmune disorder. This type of disorder can be passed down through families.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common type of diabetes, and is responsible for most diagnosed cases. It usually develops in adulthood, although obese teens and young adults can also be at risk. Many people with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they even have it.
High blood sugars levels can cause multiple symptoms and many of these signs and symptoms can be the same for both type I and type 2 diabetes. These symptoms can include blurry vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger and even weight loss. Because type 2 develops slowly, it is possible for someone to have extremely high blood sugar levels and no symptoms at all.
In addition to the above symptoms, people with type I diabetes may also experience deep, rapid breathing, dry skin and mouth, a flushed face, a fruity breath odor, nausea or vomiting, a headache, shaking, sweating, weakness or a rapid heartbeat. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, you should report them to your physician.
A urine analysis may be used to detect high blood sugar; however, a urine test alone will not diagnose diabetes. If your physician suspects that you may have diabetes, he may confirm his suspicions with a fasting blood glucose level, a Hemoglobin A1c test, or an oral glucose tolerance test. A screening for type 2 diabetes in people with no symptoms is recommended for overweight children who have other risk factors and overweight adults who also have other risk factors.
While there is currently no cure for diabetes, there are treatments involving medicines, diet and exercise that are used to help control the blood sugar and prevent suffering from diabetic symptoms. If you do not control your diabetes, other serious problems may occur. You could begin to have trouble with your eyesight, possibly even becoming blind, your skin, particularly your feet can develop sores and infections, when left untreated can even cause amputation. You may find it more difficult to control your blood pressure and cholesterol, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, your nerves can become damaged causing you pain, tingling and loss of feeling and you may develop problems digesting the food that you eat due to nerve damage. You may also suffer from overall weakness and you may have trouble with other bodily functions. You may also suffer from kidney damage, which can lead to your kidneys to cease functioning at all.
As you can see, diabetes is a serious condition that requires a serious commitment from you, in order to maintain living a long and healthy life.