The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that carries glucose from the blood to the cells to be used as energy. Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin or doesn’t use the insulin as well as it should. Too much glucose in the blood can cause health problems and, although diabetes isn’t curable, there are steps you can take to manage it and reduce the risk of major health problems in the future.
The three most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational.
When an individual has type 1 diabetes, their bodies do not make any insulin due to their immune system attacking and destroying the cells that are responsible for making it. Individuals with type 1 are typically diagnosed as children or young adults, although it can appear at any age, and need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body makes insulin but does not use it properly. To make up for it, your pancreas makes extra insulin but, it can’t keep up with the production and is unable to make enough insulin to keep your glucose at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and can occur at any age.
Gestational diabetes occurs in some women when they are pregnant. Typically, gestational diabetes will go away after the baby is born although those who have had gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
Oftentimes, individuals with type 2 diabetes will not experience any symptoms or will have symptoms so mild they go unnoticed. With that being said, the typical diabetes symptoms are:
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes including your genes and lifestyle habits. Although you can’t do anything to help reduce risk associated with genetics, you can make lifestyle changes focusing on your eating habits, physical activity, and weight.
Diabetes risk factors:
High glucose levels can lead to problems such as:
Our team at each Salter HealthCare facility has extensive experience in caring for patients with diabetes, which has allowed us to help our patients learn how to manage their diabetes and reduce additional health care risks.