Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are chronic diseases that affects glucose (blood sugar) getting to the various cells in the body. This disease is caused by either the pancreas not producing enough or insulin or because the cells do not respond to the insulin that the body does produce. There are two main types of diabetes and a few other less common types. Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not produce insulin in sufficient amounts, commonly known as ‘insulin-dependent’ diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is where the cells in the body do not adequately respond to insulin or when the level of insulin produced is not high enough.
Classic signs of diabetes include weight loss, increased thirst and hunger and increased urination. These symptoms can be slow to come on or rapid dependent upon the severity and type of diabetes. There are also some long term symptoms and complications which mean the diabetes must be managed in a proper way to avoid damage to vital organs. In severe cases when blood sugar is too high or low the patient will be in a state of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
The causes of diabetes vary widely. While sometimes it is an inherited condition, Type 1 diabetes can be developed if the body does have some form of physiological change in the pancreas, cell mutations or infections. Type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle and diet although occasionally it can be attributed to genetics.
All forms of diabetes have been treatable since insulin became available around 1920. Because of the seriousness of this disease, it is important that anyone who suffers has access to good and regular healthcare. Although it cannot be cured, it can be managed very successfully but usually involves some drastic lifestyle and dietary changes.
Type 1 diabetes is managed and treated via insulin and sometimes combined with medication. Insulin allows blood sugar to be absorbed into the body and has to be injected into the body as it cannot be taken as a tablet or medicine. If it was swallowed in pill form it would be absorbed in the stomach before it could take effect. Regular tests of blood sugar are made through the day and insulin is injected if required. It is something that is easily managed so long as a person looks after their diet.
When medication is required it is done so to help control diabetes and cannot and will not cure it. Once medication once is used, it is done so for the rest of the patient’s life. The medication is used to help maintain the diet and sugar levels although it cannot be used on its own. A dietary change is still required.
Diet is the main way in which diabetes is controlled. Both type 1 and 2 require blood sugar levels to be maintained, monitored and controlled. Patients often have to severely limit the amount of sugary and carb based foods they eat. When they do alter their consumption of these foods, they will have to alter their insulin levels accordingly. Experience of dealing with diabetes will let a patient know when and how much they can eat. By not monitoring their glucose levels, they greatly increase the risks involved and chance of hyper or hypoglycemia setting in.
While diabetes is very serious, it is also very manageable. The different types have different methods of being controlled, however, dietary change is the constant for both. Whilst eating lots of sugary foods will not cause diabetes it will have a dangerous effect on a person who has diabetes.
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