Diabetes is growing at an epidemic pace in the United States, there is no arguing that. Over 20 million Americans have diabetes, with 6 million of them not even knowing it.

Unfortunately, many people have no idea what diabetes really is, or what symptoms to look for. Diabetes is a serious health issue. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in this country, and there is no cure for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes at this time. Here’s a quick diabetes for dummy overlook to help you better understand.

How do people get diabetes?
When we eat any kind of food, our body takes that food and turns it into energy, or better said, into sugar while digesting it. This is what gives us the energy we need to survive. And during this process, insulin is produced from our pancreas which controls the sugar in our bloodstream. This entire process is what keeps our body healthy.

Without the pancreas producing this insulin, the sugar will stay in our blood and begin to create serious health issues. High blood sugar can cause blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and other organ function problems. And without treating high blood sugar, it can be fatal. In diabetes for dummy’s, it is vital to get tested regularly to make sure your normal blood sugar levels are safe.

What types of diabetes are there?

Type 1 Diabetes – This type of diabetes usually is associated with adolescents and children. Type 1 Diabetes is found in approximately 1 in every 400-600 children. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the cells that the pancreas makes into insulin.

Type 1 Diabetes patients have to have daily insulin injections in order to survive. There is no known cure yet, but new methods are on the horizon.

Type 2 Diabetes – This type of diabetes is the most common, occurring in 90-95% of all cases. With Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas simply can not continue to produce the insulin that is required, or the cells just don’t respond to the insulin any longer. Most of the time, Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled through a proper diet and exercise plan. But, if that fails, oral medication can be prescribed to get it under control.

Gestational Diabetes – This form of diabetes is only found pregnant women. It is similar to Type 2 diabetes and it usually occurs in 2-7% of all pregnancies. Gestational diabetes is caused from the pancreas not being able to keep up with the required amount of insulin to control the glucose level. Gestational diabetes will usually go away after a pregnancy, but there is an increased risk of both mother and baby becoming diabetic later on in life.

Tests for Gestational Diabetes are usually done around the 26th week of pregnancy, which is the time insulin resistance usually starts.

Pre-Diabetes – This is also called borderline diabetes. Pre-Diabetes is diagnosed when patients are showing the signs of having high blood sugar levels and are starting to have trouble in keeping them down. One of the most important facts to realize in diabetes for dummy’s is that over 40 million people have Pre-Diabetes. That is astounding. If left untreated, Pre-Diabetes will almost always turn into Type 2 Diabetes. Anyone with Pre-Diabetes needs to change their diet and start on an exercise program. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Also, have your blood sugar levels checked frequently.

As mentioned earlier, there is no known cure for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. The only option available to anyone with Type 1 Diabetes is to have a pancreas transplant. But, that is not a great option with the possibilities of other problems arising such as the body rejecting the new pancreas, not to mention the surgery itself. Science is working feverishly on new ways of treating diabetes including the transplanting of insulin producing cells within the pancreas, and even making an artificial pancreas.

There are even efforts to produce an inhalation device that puts out insulin instead of having to have daily injections. These advancements are on the horizon and will be available in the not too distant future. In the meantime, diabetes for dummy says to check your blood sugar levels, and know what they are. You only have one body and we all need to take care of it as best we can.

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