What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not properly control the amount of sugar in the blood stream. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly.

The symptoms of diabetes should be recognized. Recognizing a symptom or sign for diabetes is important diabetes can be life-threatening. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin in the body or by the inability to utilize the insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which regulates blood sugar levels. Over 15 million people the US alone suffer from diabetes.

The main types of diabetes are:

Type 1 diabetes (often called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes) – is a chronic (lifelong) disease that occurs when the pancreas produces too little insulin to regulate blood sugar levels appropriately.

Type 2 diabetes (often called adult or non-insulin-dependent diabetes) – is the most common form of diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but either not produce enough insulin or their bodies do not utilize the insulin made. Most of the people who have this type of diabetes are overweight.

Gestational Diabetes – is high blood glucose that develops during pregnancy in a woman.

How would you know if you might have diabetes?

The most common symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, increased appetite, increased thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination, slow healing infections and even impotence in adult males.

By exhibiting any of these signs does not necessarily mean you have diabetes though. The best way to determine this is to visit your doctor and request the fasting blood glucose level test. Diabetes is diagnosed if this test shows the blood glucose level is higher than 126 mg/dl on two different tests.

There is no cure for diabetes at the moment, so what should one do if diagnosed with diabetes? The objectives are to keep your blood sugars stabilized as much as possible. By maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, you can eliminate any possibility of immediate or semi-immediate problems in turn prolonging ones life.

Remember, life doesn’t stop because you have diabetes; it merely becomes more of a challenge. The good news on the other hand is the cure for diabetes may not be that far off. Until then, keep your blood sugars regulated, eat right and exercise daily.

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