Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a long-term or chronic disease characterized by blood sugar levels (glucose) that are far above normal. Glucose is very important for our health because it is the main source of energy for the brain and cells that make up the muscles and tissues in our body.
Types of Diabetes
This disease has two main types, namely type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. But there are also certain types of diabetes that you should know about.
Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar levels have exceeded normal limits but have not been categorized into type 2 diabetes. However, prediabetes sufferers can develop type 2 diabetes if they do not immediately change their lifestyle. Prediabetes occurs when glucose starts to accumulate in the bloodstream because the body cannot process it properly.
Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes are very dependent on insulin because the patient’s immune system will attack and destroy the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This triggers an increase in glucose levels resulting in damage to the body’s organs. Until now, the cause behind type 1 diabetes is not known with certainty. This type of diabetes sufferer is generally under 40 years old, usually appears in adolescence or children. Because of this, type 1 diabetes is also referred to as childhood diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes. In addition to receiving insulin injections every day, people with type 1 diabetes are also advised to keep blood glucose levels in balance. For example by applying a healthy diet and undergoing regular blood tests.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a more common type of diabetes. About 90 percent of people with diabetes in the world have this type of diabetes. This type of diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin production in the body or body cells that become less sensitive to insulin. Insensitivity of body cells is known as insulin resistance.
Symptoms in people with this type of diabetes can usually be controlled with a healthy diet and monitor blood glucose levels. However, stay alert because this disease will continue to develop in the body and gradually you will need treatment steps.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity. Indeed, not all people who suffer from obesity will automatically suffer from type 2 diabetes. But, the higher a person’s body mass index, the risk of this type of diabetes also increases. Diabetes due to obesity generally attacks the elderly.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually only lasts until the birth process. Gestational diabetes which affects 9.2 percent of pregnant women generally occurs between the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy, although it is possible to occur in any week.
Similar to diabetes in general, gestational diabetes occurs when insulin production is insufficient to control the body’s glucose levels during pregnancy. High glucose levels in the blood can endanger the mother and child, but this risk can be reduced if handled quickly and accurately.
Symptoms of Diabetes
It is very important for us to know the initial symptoms of diabetes. Whether it’s for high-risk people or those who feel healthy and have no history or the potential for diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can develop rapidly in a few weeks, even just a few days. Whereas many type 2 diabetics do not realize that they have had diabetes for years because the symptoms tend to be non-specific. Some symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes include:
- Often feel thirsty.
- Frequent urination, especially at night.
- Extreme hunger.
- Reduced muscle mass.
- Weight loss without a clear cause.
- There are ketones in urine.
- Blurred view.
- Long-healed wounds.
- Frequent infections, such as the gums, skin, vagina, or urinary tract.
If you experience these symptoms, immediately consult a doctor. Detection as early as possible allows us to prevent our diabetes from getting worse.
Causes of Diabetes
All cells in the human body need glucose to work normally. The level of sugar in the blood is usually controlled by the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas, which is the organ located behind the stomach. But pancreatic organs belonging to diabetics are not able to produce insulin according to the body’s needs. Without insulin, body cells cannot absorb and process glucose into energy.
Treatment of diabetes depends on the type and severity of diabetes experienced. But in general, healthy lifestyle patterns and regular and physical activity are always recommended by doctors for diabetics. You will also be encouraged to measure blood sugar levels regularly to find out its progress. Besides being able to normalize blood sugar levels, a healthy lifestyle can also prevent prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.