Diabetes is a very common term that is used synonymously in the society to characterize high blood sugar levels. Most people are not aware of the types of diabetes that patients suffer from. Each type of diabetes is different; from the way it develops, the symptoms and risk factors that are associated with it, and even the treatment plan.
There are namely three types of diabetes; Type1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (GDM). Type 1 diabetes isthought to be an autoimmune reaction wherein the immune system in the bodydestroys the normal insulin-producing cells in the pancreas which usuallycauses a permanent damage. This response is usually provoked by certain geneticor environmental stimulus.
This can occur in any age groups, but it is moreprevalent in children and teenagers. Type 1 diabetes was previously known asjuvenile-onset diabetes due to the very fact of it being more commonlydiagnosed in the younger age groups. Patients with Type 1 diabetes needsinsulin injections everyday in order to sustain a safe level of glucose in thebody.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form ofdiabetes in today’s world. This condition is also known as non-insulindependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. In type 2, the body is either notproducing enough insulin or the body itself is resistant to insulin. Therefore, the glucose in the bloodcannot be broken down into forms of energy that the body can use. The glucoseremains in the blood causing high glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes can occur atany age and is often but not always associated with overweight and obesity.Overweight and obesity is thought to be the cause for insulin resistance inmost people battling diabetes. The management for type 2 would usually beginwith exercise and diet. If the patients do not comply to this or do not respondto the lifestyle changes, doctors would eventually prescribe oral medicationsor insulin injections.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM, as thename suggests is characterized by high glucose levels in pregnant women. Thecondition is usually seen during the second trimester. This is largely due tothe growing placenta and certain insulin resisting hormones it produces.Gestational diabetes mellitus proposes dangerous risks to the mother and babyduring the pregnancy and during labour. In most women who suffers from GDM,their blood glucose levels usually return to be within normal rangespostpartum.
However, there are a small percentage of women, especially thosewith risk factors of developing diabetes, continue to have type 2 diabetes evenafter delivering their babies. Mothers whose glucose levels revert to normalafter birth and their babies, however, are at risk to develop Type 2 diabeteslater in life. GDM is usually managed with light exercises and dietmodifications. Mothers who continue to have high glucose levels despite thelifestyle modifications will be given insulin injections, as most oralmedications pose teratogenic risk to the fetus in utero.
Once diabetes sets in, it is a lifelong battlethat one must endure with high discipline and self-control. Pharmacologicaltherapy alone would not make the cut. Bringing down sugar levels requirecertain lifestyle modifications concerning food intake, stress levels, certainhabits, and exercise. Only with proper control over sugar levels can one reducetheir risk of developing complications that occur with diabetes.
Take proactivemeasures like having a glucose monitor at home and maintaining a blood glucosediary. With decades of research and development, with new advances in thepharmacology industry, the quality of life of a diabetic patient has improvedtremendously. Patients who are mindful of their illness and take good care ofthemselves are able to outlive previous expectant prognosis in a typicalpatient with diabetes.
Learn more about diabetes answers by DoctorOnCall on their website.