Diabetes is a group of diseases or disorders in which the body does not produce sufficient insulin or no insulin, does not use the produced insulin properly, or shows a combination of both. When any of these conditions happen, the body will be unable to take sugar from the blood into the cells, which leads to high blood sugar levels. You can read more in the Diabetes Journal.
Glucose, which is a form of sugar found in the blood is one of the leading energy sources. An insufficiency of insulin or resistance to insulin makes sugar to build up in the blood. This can lead to various health problems.
Diabetes are broadly classified into three, and they are:
Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes.
What Causes Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is said to be an autoimmune condition, which means that the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This damage is generally permanent. Although the reason may not be certain, there may be genetic and environmental reasons. Lifestyle factors do not play a role.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes begins as insulin resistance, which means that the body cannot use insulin efficiently. This stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin until it cannot keep up with demand any longer. Insulin production decreases, and this leads to high blood sugar.
The exact reason for type 2 diabetes is unknown, but contributing factors may include:
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- There may also be other health factors and environmental reasons.
Gestational diabetes occurs due to insulin-blocking hormones that are produced during pregnancy. This type of diabetes only occurs while the woman is pregnant.
What are The Symptoms Of Diabetes?
General symptoms of diabetes include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Blurry vision
- Frequent urination
- Dry, itchy skin
- Slow-healing wounds
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs more quickly than other types and can cause symptoms such as weight loss or a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition can occur when the level of blood sugar is very high, but very little or no insulin in the body.
Type 2 diabetes may cause dark patches in the folds of skin in armpits and on the neck. Since this diabetes generally takes longer to diagnose, you might feel symptoms like pain or numbness in your feet during the time of diagnosis.
Symptoms of both types of diabetes can show up at any age, but usually, Type 1 occurs in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes occurs in people who are over the age of 45. However, younger people are increasingly getting diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because of sedentary lifestyles and overweight or an increase in weight. Read the Pediatrics Journal to know more about diabetes in children and how it can be controlled or treated.
How Common Is Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is more commonly found in people than Type 1 and is seen in many people. Another study suggests that a large number of people have prediabetes, although most of them do not know that they have this condition.
Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose is higher than its limits, but not high enough to be called diabetes. A person is more likely to develop diabetes if they have a family history of the disease.
Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
- Being overweight
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- A history of gestational diabetes or prediabetes