Glucose is the main source of energy in our bodies. It enters our cells from the bloodstream with the help of insulin. While we all need glucose, elevated levels of it can cause severe hormonal problems and lead to diabetes.
Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, affecting 29.1 million Americans. With an additional 1.4 million Americans diagnosed every year, it’s no wonder diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness in working age adults.
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Let’s take a closer look at each type:
- Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin. This type only accounts for 5% of all diagnosed adult cases, and there is no known way to prevent it. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin properly. It accounts for 95% of the cases of diabetes, and most cases can be prevented. It is the most common form of diabetes today.
- Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and normally goes away after the child is born; however, women who have had gestational diabetes are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This affects approximately 18% of pregnant women.
The good news is that diabetes is one of the most preventable chronic diseases. The choices you make in your daily life can help you avoid the harmful and often deadly complications that come from the disease.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and irritability
Type 2 Diabetes:
- Any of the Type 1 symptoms
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling/Numbness in the hands and feet