What is diabetes?
November is Diabetes Awareness month. Did you know more than 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year? Diabetes is a disease that involve problems with the hormone insulin.
What is diabetes?
In a healthy body, the pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use sugar and fat from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces very little or no insulin, or when the body does not respond appropriately to insulin.
What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own pancreas with antibodies. A person that has type 1 diabetes has a pancreas that does not make insulin.
Many times this type of diabetes is caused by genetics.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves taking insulin, which is injected through the skin into the fatty tissue below. The insulin can be given using multiple daily injections or via an insulin pump that delivers insulin through a small tubing placed under the skin.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is also referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes.
With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces some insulin, but does not produce enough for the body’s need, or the body’s cells are resistant to it. Insulin resistance, or the lack of sensitivity to insulin, happens in fat, liver and muscle cells.
People who are obese (more than 20% over their ideal body weight for their height) are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Most obese people have insulin resistance, which causes the pancreas to work overly hard to produce insulin. Often there is not enough insulin to keep sugars normal.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
There is no cure for diabetes. Type 2 can be controlled through weight management, nutrition, and exercise. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes often progresses and diabetes medications are needed.
What is prediabetes?
If you’re labeled as prediabetes, this means you are on the path to diabetes. This happens when your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than is should be, but has not reached the diabetes range.
The good news, you can make lifestyle adjustments to delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Weight control. Losing as little as 5-10 percent of your body weight.
- Exercise. 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Aerobic exercise that get your heart rate up is ideal.
- Nutrition. Look for meals that mix low-fat protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Increase fiber rich foods that will help you to feel full and not eat as much. Limit sugary and starchy carbohydrates.
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