What is diabetes?

Diabetes (or diabetes mellitus) refers to a group of metabolic diseases in which the patient has high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. This might be due to an inadequate insulin production or that the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. 

DiabetesWhat are the different types of diabetes?

Diabetes comes in several different varieties. Here is a list of the different types and some information about them:

Type 1 Diabetes: In this case, the body does not produce any insulin. About 10% of diabetes cases are type 1. Other names for this include insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is on the rise in the younger generation as well: "According to the latest SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the prevalence of T1D in people under age 20 rose by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009."*

Type 2 Diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin for proper function. About 90% of diabetics are type 2. Type 2 is a progressive disease that worsens over time. Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Gestational Diabetes: This type can affect expectant mothers. "Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose."**

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes can have a variety of symptoms, including blurry or blurred vision, breath smelling of acetone, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyperventilation, polyuria, and glycosuria (to name a few).

How do you know if you have diabetes?

Doctors can give patients different tests to determine if they have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes.

Is diabetes treatable?

All of the types of diabetes are treatable, but not all are curable. Type 1 diabetes is a lifetime illness but can be controlled with regular insulin injections and well as diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes also usually lasts a lifetime, but some people have had success using special diets and no longer need their insulin tablets. 

What should I do to lessen the symptoms of diabetes?

If you have diabetes, there are some things you can do to keep the symptoms in check.

Avoid Certain Foods: Avoid large portions of sugary, salty, or starchy foods. These can cause hikes in your blood sugar levels.

Exercise: Exercising can help you maintain a healthy body weight which will lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

There is a formula on the web which has been popular.  

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* JDRF. "Study Reveals 23 Percent Increase In Type 1 Diabetes Among American Youth." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 13 Jun. 2012. Web.
14 Jan. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/246471.php>

** "What Is Diabetes? What Causes Diabetes?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/diabetes/>.[/e