Diabetes is a health condition in which your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that facilitates the transformation of glucose into energy in your cells. When your glucose levels are too high, it can lead to serious health complications including:
There are two primary forms of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is often referred to as juvenile diabetes and is the less common form of the disease. Type 1 diabetes is usually hereditary and is caused by your body not producing insulin. Researchers believe that an autoimmune disorder causes your body to attack and destroy the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common and is often referred to as insulin resistance. Your body doesn’t use insulin efficiently enough, which causes your pancreas to continually increase insulin production. Eventually, your body can’t keep up with the demand, and your glucose levels increase.
While Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life, it’s becoming much more common in children and teenagers. Type 2 diabetes also has a hereditary component. However, your chances of developing the disease are highly influenced by lifestyle factors including your diet, exercise habits, and weight.
When you have a routine blood panel at your annual exam, your glucose levels are tested. If your results are high, your doctor orders additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.
If you have Type 1 diabetes, your doctor prescribes daily insulin injections to provide the hormones your body isn’t producing. You also need to make sure to eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
If you have Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor suggests lifestyle modifications to try to control your glucose levels naturally. Recommendations include dietary changes and additional physical activity.
For example, taking a short walk after you eat helps your body use glucose more effectively. Changing your diet and exercise habits can also help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.
If lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to control your diabetes, your doctor can prescribe medication to lower and control your glucose levels.
If you’re concerned about diabetes, call to schedule an appointment today.