Overview of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are absent from normal. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy. After a meal, food is broken down into a sugar called glucose, which is carried by the blood to cells throughout the body. Cells use the hormone insulin, made in the pancreas, to help them process blood glucose into energy.

Types of Diabetes
The three main kinds of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. In this form of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body’s immune system has attacked and destroyed them. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily—for some.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is common form of diabetes. People can build up type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. This variety of diabetes frequently begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals. People who are overweight and immobile are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Treatment admits taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily for some.
People develop type 2 diabetes because the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly. Ultimately, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin for the body’s needs. As a result, the sum of glucose in the blood increases while the cells are starved of energy. Over the years, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, gum infections, and amputation.

Gestational Diabetes
Some women cultivate gestational diabetes late in pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a deficiency of insulin.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes
More than 6 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Many have no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can also be so mild that you might not even notice them. Some people have symptoms but do not expect of having diabetes.

Symptoms contain

* increased thirst
* increased hunger
* fatigue
* increased urination, especially at night
* weight loss
* blurred vision
* sores that do not heal

Many people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes complications, such as blurry vision or heart trouble. If you find out early that you have diabetes, then you can get treatment to prevent damage to the body.

Age for testing diabetes
Anyone 45 years old or older should believe in getting tested for diabetes. If you are younger than 45, overweight, and have one or more of the risk factors, you should consider getting tested. Ask your doctor for a fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. Your doctor will tell you if you have normal blood glucose, pre-diabetes, or diabetes.

Pre-diabetes mean
Pre-diabetes means your blood glucose is higher than normal but lower than the diabetes range. It also means you are at risk for getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, you can diminish the hazard of getting diabetes and even return to normal blood glucose levels with modest weight loss and moderate physical activity. If you are told you have pre-diabetes, have your blood glucose checked again in 1 to 2 years.

Instruction to reduce risk
You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes. Exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing a little weight can help you lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels also helps you stay healthy.

If you are overweight

Then take these steps:

Accomplish and maintain a reasonable body weight.
Make wise food choices most of the time.
Be physically energetic every day.
If you are fairly inactive

Then take this step:

Be physically active every day.
If your blood pressure is too high

Then take these steps:

Achieve and maintain a reasonable body weight.
Make prudent food choices most of the time.
Lessen your intake of sodium and alcohol.
Be physically active every day.
Talk with your doctor about whether you need medicine to control your blood pressure.
If your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are too high

Then take these steps:

Make wise food choices most of the time.
Be physically active every day.
Talk with your doctor about whether you need medicine to control your cholesterol levels.

Making Changes to Lower Risk
Making big changes in your life is hard, especially if you are faced with more than one change. You can make it easier by taking these steps:

Make a plan to change behavior.
Decide exactly what you will do and when you will do it.
Plan what you need to get ready.
Think about what might prevent you from reaching your goals.
Find family and friends who will support and encourage you.
Decide how you will reward yourself when you do what you have planned.
Your doctor, a dietitian, or a counselor can help you make a plan. Consider making changes to lower your risk of diabetes.

Reach and Maintain a Reasonable Body Weight
Your weight affects your health in many ways. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly. Excess body weight can also cause high blood pressure.

Be Physically enthusiastic Every Day
Conventional exercise undertakes several risk factors at once. It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin.

If you are not very active, you should start slowly. Talk with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you. Make a plan to increase your activity level toward the goal of being active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

Choose activities you enjoy. Some ways to work extra activity into your daily routine include the following:

Take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.
Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk.
Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
Walk or bicycle whenever you can.
Take Your Prescribed Medications
Some people need medication to help control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. If you do, take your medicines as directed. Ask your doctor about medicines to prevent type 2 diabetes.