What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term condition that affects the way your body converts food into energy.

Your body converts the majority of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar rises, your pancreas signals to release insulin. Insulin functions as a key, allowing blood sugar to enter cells and be used as energy.

Diabetes develops when your body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use it as effectively as it should. Too much blood sugar remains in your bloodstream when insufficient insulin or cells stop responding to insulin. Over time, this can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.


Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is classified into three types: type 1, 2, and gestational.

  • Type 1 diabetes

This type can appear at any age, but it is most common in children and adolescents. With type 1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, necessitating daily injections to keep blood glucose levels under control.

  • Type 2 diabetes

This type of diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for approximately 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2, your body does not properly utilize the insulin it produces. A healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and a nutritious diet, is the cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment. However, most people with type 2 diabetes will eventually require oral medications and insulin to control their blood glucose levels.

  • Gestational diabetes

This is a type of diabetes characterized by high blood glucose levels during pregnancy and is linked to both mother and child complications. GDM usually goes away after pregnancy, but women who have it and their children are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Symptoms of diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Drowsiness or fatigue from frequent urination
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Slow wound healing

Type 2 diabetes can cause discolored patches of skin in the armpits and neck folds. Because type 2 diabetes takes longer to diagnose, you may experience more symptoms at the time of diagnosis, such as foot pain or numbness.

Type 1 diabetes typically develops more quickly and can result in symptoms such as weight loss or a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when your blood sugar is extremely high, but your body has little or no insulin.

Diabetes symptoms can appear at any age, but type 1 diabetes typically affects children and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes is most common in people over the age of 45. However, younger people are increasingly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to sedentary lifestyles and increased weight.


Diabetes Prevention

Type 1 diabetes prevent

Diabetes type 1 is less common than diabetes type 2; approximately 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1. Nobody knows exactly how to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it is possible.

  • Treated by following your doctor's recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Keeping your blood sugar in check.
  • Having regular health examinations.
  • Obtaining diabetes self-management education and assistance.

Type 2 diabetes prevent

If you are at risk of developing diabetes, you may be able to avoid or postpone its onset. The majority of what you need to do involves adopting a healthier lifestyle. If you make these changes, you will reap additional health benefits. You may reduce your risk of developing other diseases, and you will most likely feel better and have more energy. The modifications are as follows:

  • Getting rid of excess weight and keeping it off

Diabetes prevention begins with weight management. By losing 5 to 10% of your current weight, you may be able to prevent or delay diabetes. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should aim to lose 10 to 20 pounds. And once you've lost the weight, you mustn't regain it.

  • Maintaining a healthy diet

Limiting the calories you consume daily is critical to losing weight and keeping it off. To achieve this, you should eat smaller portions and consume less fat and sugar. It would be best to consume foods from each food group, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Limiting red meat and avoiding processed meats are also good ideas.

  • Exercise regularly

Weight loss and blood sugar control are two of the many health benefits of exercise. Both lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Make an effort to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you haven't been active, consult your doctor to determine which exercise is best for you. You can begin slowly and work your way up to your goal.

  • Do not smoke

Tobacco use can increase insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes. If you already smoke, make an effort to stop.

Gestational diabetes prevent

You may be able to avoid gestational diabetes if you lose weight and engage in regular physical activity before becoming pregnant.

If you're pregnant, don't try to lose weight. You'll need to gain some weight gradually for your baby's health. Consult your doctor to determine how much weight you should gain for a healthy pregnancy.


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