What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body uses glucose (blood sugar). Glucose provides energy for muscle and tissue cells and is the brain’s main source of fuel. But having too much sugar in your blood leads to serious health problems, such as diabetes. There are several types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Once called “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, also called insulin resistance, is when your body doesn’t use the insulin it has properly.
When your blood sugar is high but not yet high enough for a diabetes classification, you have prediabetes. This form of diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and may resolve after the baby is born.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Diabetes symptoms can vary. Symptoms may be unnoticeable initially for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Type 1 diabetes symptoms are more severe and come on quickly and are much more noticeable. The signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
What is the cause of type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by environmental factors and genetics, although the exact cause is unknown. Individuals with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk of getting diabetes.
The immune system of individuals with type 1 diabetes attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, resulting in too little insulin. When there is not enough insulin to transport to the body’s cells, sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
What causes prediabetes and type 2 diabetes?
When an individual is in the prediabetes stage or has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the cells are resistant to insulin. The pancreas can’t make enough insulin to overcome the resistance and the sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Being overweight is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone who has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is overweight.
What increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes?
In addition to being overweight, there are several factors that increase an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, including:
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented but healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent prediabetes, gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Make an appointment with the doctors at AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Atlanta using our online booking tool or calling the office to discuss prevention options for diabetes or for help managing diabetes.