A chronic condition like diabetes can affect how your body processes food. The body breaks down most of what you eat into glucose, which then enters your bloodstream. When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas secretes insulin, which helps the body use glucose for energy. Unfortunately, diabetes can prevent the body from making enough insulin. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and eventually cause health problems such as heart disease and blindness.
Although diabetes doesn’t yet have a cure, it can be treated with the help of certain factors. Some of these include being physically active, eating nutritious food, and reducing weight.
Things you can do to help:
- Take your medicine as prescribed
- Get a support system and educate yourself on diabetes self-management
- Make and keep healthcare appointments
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body mistakenly attacks itself, preventing the body from producing insulin. About 5-10% of people with diabetes have this condition. The initial symptoms of this disease typically appear in children and young adults. Typically, these symptoms develop quickly. If diagnosed, you’ll have to take insulin every day to survive. There is no known prevention for Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, the body can’t properly use insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar level. About 90-95% of people with this condition are affected by this type of disease, which usually appears in adults. Those who may be at risk should get their blood sugar tested because they may not notice the symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a healthier set of lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, being active, and eating better food.
Women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes are known to develop gestational diabetes. This condition can increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, and it can also affect their baby’s health. Although gestational diabetes typically goes away after the baby is born, it can still affect the development of this condition in the child. If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your baby is more likely to become obese as a child or teen and have type 2 diabetes later in life.
Over 96 million adults in the US have prediabetes, and over 8 in 10 of them are not aware of their condition. These individuals are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, there is good news: Prediabetes can be reversed through a healthy lifestyle change program.