Understanding the Different Types of Diabetes

by Editorial Board on April 12, 2011 · 0 comments

in Endocrine System

If you have diabetes, the sugar, or glucose, in your blood is too high. Blood needs glucose because it is the main source of fuel for the body; but with diabetes the blood has too much glucose. There are three main kinds of diabetes: Type 1, type 2, and gestational.

Glucose and Insulin

First we’ll look at why people have too much glucose in their blood? Glucose comes from the food we eat. Plus, the liver and muscles of the body make glucose. Normally, the blood carries glucose to all the cells in the body. The hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas, helps get the glucose into the cells. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work the way it should, the glucose stays in the blood and can’t get to the cells. That is the process that ends up with people having too much glucose in their blood.

Type 1 Diabetes

While you can get diabetes at any age, people used to call type 1 diabetes “juvenile diabetes” because it is most common in children, teens, and young adults. With type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not make enough insulin. The treatment for type 1 diabetes involves taking insulin and perhaps other medications. Treatment also means eating the right foods, and getting enough physical activity. Some people with type 1 diabetes also take aspirin daily to get better control of their blood pressure and cholesterol.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as “adult-onset diabetes,” because many develop it at any age. It is the most common type of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes the cells of the body do not use insulin the way they should, these cells are said to be insulin-resistant. At first the pancreas produces more insulin to keep the cells supplied, but after a while it can’t keep up with the body’s need for insulin. Treatment is the same as type 1 diabetes treatment: diet and exercise, insulin and possibly other medications.

Gestational Diabetes

Women may develop gestational diabetes during the later months of pregnancy. This is usually as a result of either a shortage of insulin or because of pregnancy hormones. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. But women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to later on get type 2 diabetes.

Controlling Diabetes So It Doesn’t Become Disabling

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause blindness (diabetic neuropathy), nerve problems (diabetic neuropathy), heart disease, kidney disease, and even amputations. It is very important that people with diabetes do their part to keep their diabetes under control through medication and lifestyle.

Post a comment below to share your thoughts on this subject or ask us a question, we encourage you to be part of the Living with a Disability community.

Previous post:

Next post:

Leave a Comment