Types of Diabetes

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose (a form of sugar).


Glucose backs up in the bloodstream - causing one’s blood glucose (blood sugar) to rise too high. There are two major types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes (formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent): the body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that enables the body
to use glucose found in foods for energy.


People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.

Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called adult-onset or non insulin-dependent): results, when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or, is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight,
and have a family history of diabetes.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Being very thirsty

  • Frequent urination

  • Weight loss

  • Increased hunger

  • Blurry vision

  • Irritability

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections

  • Wounds that don't heal

  • Extreme unexplained fatigue

WHO IS AT RISK OF GETTING DIABETES?

  • People with a Family History of Diabetes (siblings or parents)

  • Overweight people

  • Persons with high cholesterol

  • Persons with high blood pressure

  • Physical inactive people

  • Persons who had a stroke or heart attack

  • Women with a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes later in life

  • Women who had a new-born weighing more than 4kg at birth

  • Women with a history of Polycystic Ovarian Disease

The risk of developing diabetes also increases as people grow older. People who are over 40 and overweight are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes

COMPLICATIONS

  • Heart attacks

  • Strokes

  • Blindness

  • Kidney failure

  • Blood vessel disease that may require an amputation (circulation problems) / gangrene

  • Nerve damage – neurogenic bladder, etc.

  • Impotence in men

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

  • Eating healthy and having a balanced diet is important in managing your diabetes.

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietician to help you with a dietary plan.

  • They will help you with managing a well-balanced meal, portion sizes, to coordinate meals with medications and to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.[1]

  • Educate yourself on diabetes, the type of diabetes you have, warning signs, etc.

  • Regular exercise: for about 30 minutes and for at least five times a week. The exercise should make you sweat and breathe harder and always hydrate. [2]

  • Avoid alcohol: alcohol lowers your blood sugar levels because as it is getting metabolized by the liver, the liver is unable to regulate the blood sugar levels properly. [1]

  • Ask the doctor about methods to manage stress as stress can lead to high blood sugar levels. [1]

  • Stop smoking as it can increase the risk of nerve and blood vessel damage which can put you at risk of cardiovascular disease. [1]

  • Go for regular check-ups and take your medications as directed by your doctor. [2]

  • If you take insulin, make sure you store it as directed by the doctor. [2]

  • Wear closed shoes when outside, keep your feet clean and dry and always look out for sores or cuts and attend to them immediately.