Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin the way it should. The food we eat is broken down into sugar, which is released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar rises it signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is what allows the cells in the body to use sugar for energy. In people with diabetes, too much blood sugar remains in the bloodstream and over time this can cause serious health problems like kidney disease, heart disease and vision loss.
The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in younger people, but it can occur at any age. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to survive. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5-10% of diabetes cases.
In type 2 diabetes the body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar levels under control. Type 2 diabetes usually develops over the course of many years, but is more commonly being seen in children, teens and young adults. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90-95% of diabetes cases. It can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes but may also need to be treated with medications or insulin to be properly controlled.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy in women who did not previously have diabetes. It increases the risk of certain health problems in the developing baby. It usually goes away after the baby is born but does increase the lifelong risk of type 2 diabetes in the mother.
Symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and urination, unintended weight loss, increased hunger, fatigue, dry skin, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, blurry vision, and slow healing sores. Gestational diabetes does not usually have symptoms, so it’s important to be tested for this during pregnancy.
Diabetes is diagnosed with a simple series of blood tests that assess how the body is processing glucose. Treatment for all types of diabetes includes healthy eating and regular exercise. Self-monitoring of blood glucose is done at home and is essential for the management of diabetes. Insulin is used to treat type 1 diabetes and may also be given in type 2 and gestational diabetes. Oral medications are frequently used to treat type 2 diabetes and may also be used with gestational diabetes.
With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, diabetes can be managed. Living with diabetes can be stressful, and mental and emotional health are an important part of staying healthy while managing this disease. Bio-Touch is a powerful complementary technique that addresses all levels of health and has been clinically shown to reduce stress.