Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body doesn’t process glucose, or sugar, and it accumulates in the blood. When this happens, glucose begins to damage your organs and your cells, which use glucose for energy, begin to starve.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes often starts in childhood when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin, a hormone that triggers your cells to metabolize glucose. In some cases, the pancreas ceases to produce any insulin. Those with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections.
With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, just not enough. In some cases, the body stops responding to the insulin that’s present, which is known as insulin-resistant diabetes. There are a variety of treatments for type 2 diabetes, including lifestyle changes and medication.
While type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, type 2 can. If you’ve been told you’re at risk for diabetes, there are things you can do to prevent it. Your Discovery Health physician may recommend losing weight. Obesity is a primary cause of diabetes and just losing a small percentage of body fat may reduce your risk. It’s also recommended that you exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Improving your diet may also reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Your physician may suggest avoiding processed foods, especially white sugars and starches.
If you have type 1 diabetes, it can’t be cured, but you can manage its symptoms. Daily insulin injections allow the body to metabolize glucose and protect cellular health. If you struggle to manage your blood glucose levels, your doctor may prescribe medications to protect your organs.
If you have type 2 diabetes and your case is not severe, you may be able to reverse it with the appropriate lifestyle changes, particularly losing weight, eating healthy, and remaining active. If you continue to have trouble regulating blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe medications that can make you:
If you’re starting to have diabetes symptoms or have a family history of diabetes and want to know how to prevent its development, book your appointment online today with the professional team at Discover Health.
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