Did you know that there is more than just one type of diabetes? Many people have heard of diabetes, and you probably know someone who has the condition. Do you have it now, too? The three most common types of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune condition, which means that the person is born with it in their bodies, and it can become active early in life, or remain dormant and become active later on in life. Each person is different. Some people with type 1 diabetes require a continuous insulin pump while others manage their condition by giving themselves daily injections of insulin.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition which affects pregnant women in the third trimester. During that time, the mother is given a sugary drink and then a blood test to determine how effectively her body can process the sugar. If her body cannot process the sugar efficiently, then she is considered to have gestational diabetes. Her condition and her diet will be monitored for the rest of the pregnancy and the diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. If the mother and her diet are not closely monitored, she runs the risk of having a very large baby which could necessitate a surgical birth.
Now that we have covered two of the most common forms of diabetes, let’s take a good look at the other common form, which is Type 2 diabetes. People who have Type 2 diabetes are not born with it. Instead, it develops over a period of time, usually once a person reaches adulthood. It can be caused by many factors, such as weight gain, unhealthy eating habits and not getting enough regular exercise. It can also be caused by genetics. This means that if there are members of your family who have Type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing it as well.
Type 2 diabetes sometimes begins as insulin resistance. During your yearly physical, your doctor may take blood work to determine if you are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Your blood work can indicate that your body is not using the insulin that it makes as efficiently as it should. Your body is resisting the insulin, hence the name “insulin resistance.” Instead of using insulin to process the sugars which are found in the food you eat, and processing that sugar as fuel for the body, the blood will hang around in your bloodstream, causing inflammation and irritation in your blood vessels.
You may be familiar with the diabetics in your life checking the level of sugar in their blood by pricking their finger and putting drops of blood into a strip and putting the strip into a meter. This helps the diabetic person know if their blood sugar is too high or too low, so they can correct it and get it back into a normal range.
If you have questions or want to learn more about Type 2 diabetes and how it can affect you, call and make an appointment today.