General Diabetes Information
Diabetes is a chronic condition that comes in multiple forms. The underlying cause is the main difference between the types of diabetes. No matter the type – type 1, type 2, prediabetes and gestational diabetes are all similar in the fact that they are defined by high blood glucose (too much sugar in your blood). Sugar in your blood can lead to serious health conditions. Prediabetes and gestational diabetes are unique in the fact that they are potentially reversible, dependent on lifestyle changes.
What is diabetes type 1?
Diabetes type 1 usually develops in children, teens, or young adults. Type 1 diabetes will usually show up between early childhood through teen years. However, some may not get diagnosed with diabetes type 1 until adulthood. In diabetes type 1, the body does not make enough insulin to remove sugar from the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, eye damage, kidney damage, or pregnancy complications (see gestational diabetes).
There are a few known possible causes of diabete type 1. The first possible cause is genetics, this disease can be hereditary. Another possible cause of diabetes type 1 is environmental triggers such as a virus. One of the most common causes of diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune disease. In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease is when the body attacks itself by mistake and destroys the cells that make insulin.
Diagnosis & Treatment?
Diagnosis for diabetes type 1 is similar to all other diabetes diagnostic testing. A blood test can determine A1C (average blood sugar over 2-3 months), current blood sugar, and presence of autoantibodies. Autoantibodies are used to distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Treatment for diabetes type 1 is centered around monitoring blood sugar and keeping it at a targeted level. One type of treatment is taking insulin, generally most type 1 diabetics will need to be on lifelong insulin therapy. Insulin therapies consist of a wearable device, daily shots, or oral medication. Additional lifestyle changes may help manage blood sugar such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and controlling other medical conditions.
Unfortunately there is no way to prevent diabetes type 1. If you notice any changes in you or your child’s appetite, drinking level, vision changes, unexplained weight loss, or increased urination speak with your doctor as these may be warning signs for diabetes type 1.
Fore more information: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/what-is-type-1-diabetes.html
What is diabetes type 2?
Diabetes type 2 is fairly common in the United States, with about 1 in 10 Americans diagnosed with diabetes. In diabetes type 2, either the body does not produce enough insulin or cells don’t respond properly to insulin. The result is too much sugar in the bloodstream. The onset of type 2 diabetes is usually in adulthood, however it can occur in childhood as well. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, nerve disease, vision loss, sleep apnea, kidney disease, or additional medical conditions.
The main causes of diabetes type 2 are inactivity, poor diet that is high in sugar, and obesity. These factors can lead to poor insulin and blood sugar control. Additional risk factors can lead to a diagnosis of diabetes type 2. These risk factors include family history, age, having gestational diabetes in pregnancy, as well as race and ethnicity.
Diagnosis & Treatment?
Diagnostic testing for diabetes type 2 can be done by a blood test. Doctors will look at the A1C, see A1C level section in prediabetes. Additional blood tests may look at blood sugar at a single point in time. Another tool for diabetes diagnosis is regular screenings with your doctor. Your doctor will look at your risk for diabetes, as well as your blood sugar at that time.
Treatment for diabetes type 2 can be achieved by medication or lifestyle changes. Both options are in place to reduce sugar present in blood. There are several different kinds of medication available to treat diabetes type 2, and if your doctor recommends medication they will select the most appropriate for you. Lifestyle changes are another common treatment option for diabetes type 2. Lifestyle changes include increasing exercise in daily routine, eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing the amount of processed foods in diet, eliminating high sugar foods such as cakes or candies from diet, and knowing your risk for diabetes progression.
Prevention methods for diabetes type 2 begin with knowing your risk of developing this disease. Regular checkups and screenings with your doctor are important to know if you are at risk for developing diabetes. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy diet, and control of additional medical conditions are all also prevention methods for diabetes type 2.
For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html
What is pre-diabetes?
If your doctor tells you that you are prediabetic, that means that your blood sugar is running higher than normal. However, your blood sugar is not quite high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. A prediabetes is a way to alert you that your blood sugar is elevated, and time to start making changes in your diet and lifestyle to prevent further progression. An estimated 1 out 3 adult Americans have prediabetes. Prolonged state of prediabetes can put you at an increased risk for developing diabetes 2, stroke, or heart disease.
An exact cause for prediabetes has not been given. However, there are risk factors and lifestyle choices that put an individual at an increased risk. One key risk factor is a family history of diabetes. Lifestyle choices and risk factors that have an increased chance of prediabetes are obesity, unhealthy diet, poor exercise, older age, race, ethnicity, smoking, having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol, polycystic ovary syndrome, or gestational diabetes.
Diagnosis & Treatment/Prevention?
Your doctor will use a blood test for diagnosis of prediabetes. One test your doctor may order is called an A1C, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. A1C readings are interpreted as: Below 5.7%=normal, Between 5.7%-6.4%=prediabetes, Above 6.5% on separate tests = diabetes. However, it is important that even with a higher A1C it is not always a diabetes diagnosis. There are other factors that can make A1C increase or decrease, so be sure to tell your doctor your complete medical history and medications.
Treatment/prevention for prediabetes is going to focus on making lifestyle changes that reduce your chance of developing diabetes type 2. Lifestyle choices that will help your body control blood sugar are to eat a healthier diet, avoid sweets and fried food, exercise regularly, stop smoking, practice portion control, and control weight. Sometimes a doctor may prescribe medication to help lower blood sugar, take that as directed. Always talk to your doctor about what treatment option is the best for you.
For more information: cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestation refers to the time of pregnancy. Therefore, gestational diabetes occurs while a woman is pregnant. Women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes generally do not have a past medical history of diabetes. After delivery of a baby, a woman’s body will often go back to controlling blood as normal. However, gestational diabetes can put the mother at an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life. Gestational diabetes can also lead to a large baby at birth, premature labor, or low blood sugar.
Doctors and researchers have not been able to identify a clear cause behind gestational diabetes. However, they have been able to identify some risk factors associated with developing this disease. Some risk factors that may result in gestational diabetes are a family history of diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, having gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies, or race. Talk with your doctor about your risk of developing gestational diabetes while pregnant.
Diagnosis & Treatment?
Diagnostic testing for gestational diabetes generally begins at 24-28 weeks into pregnancy. The initial test is a glucose drink given to pregnant women. An hour after drinking the solution, the doctor will test the women’s blood sugar. If the blood sugar is higher than expected, then the woman will have follow-up glucose monitoring to determine prevalence of gestational diabetes.
Treatment for gestational diabetes begins with lifestyle changes. A healthy diet that is lower in sugar, higher in fruits and vegetables, and more protein is one solution to try and reduce blood sugar.. In addition, increasing the amount of safe exercise is a way to help control blood sugar. Blood sugar monitoring or medication may also be recommended by your doctor. Always speak to your doctor prior to making any lifestyle changes while pregnant. Your doctor will also be monitoring your baby for growth and development milestones.
Prevention for gestational diabetes is knowing your risk, and speaking with your doctor. Some doctors may recommend weight loss prior to pregnancy. However, doctors do not recommend weight loss during pregnancy. Additional prevention methods are to maintain a healthy diet, have regular exercise, and receive proper prenatal care.
For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html