Raising Diabetes Awareness Brings Better Understanding
Finding out that you or a loved one has diabetes, can be disturbing. That is because the word ‘diabetes’ generates a life threatening illness to most of us, which is why raising diabetes awareness is important.
You may have heard of people experiencing all sorts of horrible complications due to diabetes but oftentimes, these complications can be avoided simply by practicing healthy habits and lifestyle changes.
- A simple explanation on diabetes is that it is a chronic ailment that takes place in individuals whose bodies are incapable of breaking down glucose.
This results in an abnormally high blood sugar levels, which can cause serious health problems when not treated properly.
What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?
An important part of diabetes awareness is knowing about the different types of diabetes. There are three main ones to be aware of – type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
There is a also a condition known as pre-diabetes wherein a person’s blood sugar levels are unnaturally high but are not high enough to ‘qualify’ for an actual diabetes diagnosis.
- Type 1 Diabetes
Also called juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and adolescents. It is the rarest type of diabetes and is manifested by symptoms such as frequent urination, constant thirst and weight loss. People who suffer from type 1 diabetes are completely unable to produce insulin, which is a hormone vital to the regulation of the body’s blood glucose levels.
They are usually diagnosed in their youth, although some can be diagnosed into their thirties. This type of diabetes is something that will never change and they live their life around the disease.
- Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common of all types of diabetes and often develops in adults that are 40 years or older. Normally it is brought about by middle age weight gain and not taking care to eat healthy foods or keep up an active lifestyle.
Nowadays, as our society moves to a more sedentary lifestyle, doctors are seeing type 2 diabetes patients getting younger every year. Office jobs, computers, and videos games are taking a toll on the general health of society and diabetes has become an epidemic.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is reversible and totally within your own control if you keep to a healthy, active lifestyle and keep your weight and eating in control. Healthy eating habits will not guarantee you will not develop type 2 diabetes but will keep it in control if you do get it. If it is brought about by weight gain, you will have an easier time losing weight and getting back control of your life.
People with type 2 diabetes are able to produce insulin but only at very limited amounts. This type of diabetes is more likely to occur in people who have a poor diet, suffer with obesity or do very little or no exercise.
- Gestational Diabetes
This is the type of diabetes that develops in pregnant women. Oftentimes, it is a temporary ailment that goes away on its own after childbirth.
Gestational diabetes, is diabetes a woman develops during her pregnancy. Sometimes, with the first baby, she only develops it at the end of the last trimester of her pregnancy and will need to go on insulin injections right away. This type of diabetes almost always goes away on same day that the baby is born.
With the second and subsequent children, the woman will develop the disease much sooner, even in the first trimester and may have to take insulin injections throughout the pregnancy and be closely watched by her obstetrician and endocrinologist. Again, the diabetes will disappear with the birth of the baby.
In gestational diabetes, the patient cannot take pills for their diabetes because of the baby’s growth. As the baby gets bigger, the insulin levels must be increased. She must take insulin injections several times a day and watch her blood sugar levels and what she eats.
There are some cases that progress into type 2 diabetes so vigilant monitoring is recommended.
Immediately after you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will begin raising your own diabetes awareness by explaining to you the basic facts of your condition and how to go about managing it. By listening carefully to what they say and also by doing your own research, you will have no trouble learning about the illness and living a normal life.