WHAT IS DIABETES?
, or diabetes mellitus, is a group of chronic conditions that cause high levels of sugar to build up in the blood, resulting in adverse health effects such as heart, eye and kidney disease. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 86 million US adults-more than a third-have prediabetes, and 90% of them don't know it. With prediabetes on the rise, it is important to be informed and educated about this chronic disease.
Common types of diabetes include:
Type 1 Diabetes:
In type I diabetes, is a complex genetic disease where the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Without insulin, the glucose (sugar) flowing through the blood stream is unable to enter cells and remains in the blood. This type of diabetes was formerly referred to as insulin dependent
, or juvenile onset diabetes since it most commonly develops in childhood or early adolescence. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable. Five-percent
of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
Type 2 Diabetes:
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin, but the cells are resistant to it. Doctors refer to this as insulin resistance
. The glucose remains in the blood since it is unable to enter cells. This form of diabetes is preventable
and is most often seen in individuals over 45 who are overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95%
of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), gestational diabetes develops in about 9.2% of women during pregnancy. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is understood that the same hormones from the placenta that help the baby develop can also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This is another case of insulin resistance
. Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Most of the time it goes away after the baby is born. However, women that had gestational diabetes are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels are abnormally high but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. It is an early warning sign for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Find out more at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Understanding how your body uses blood sugar for energy is important to understanding diabetes. After ingesting foods, the body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy
. The key to getting sugar into the cells of our body is the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. If your body does not produce enough insulin, or if the body is resistant to insulin, glucose cannot reach the cells and will build up in the blood.
Over time, this glucose build up in the blood leads to diabetes. Although diabetes has no cure, managing diabetes is possible for a long and healthy life.
As of 2014, 29.1 million
people in the United States, or 9.3 percent of the population, had diabetes.
More than 1 in 4
of them didn't know they had the disease. Diabetes affects 1 in 4 people over age of 65.
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