Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar and other symptoms. With this disorder, the beta cells of the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is caused by an autoimmune reaction in the pancreas. Type 2 is characterized by insulin resistance and can progress to the loss of beta cell function. Both types are incurable chronic conditions, but are treatable with insulin injections and dietary changes.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by a loss of beta cells in the pancreas, which leads to an insulin deficiency. What causes the beta cell loss is a T-cell mediated autoimmune attack. The principal treatment is replacing insulin in the body. Without insulin, serious symptoms, coma, and even death can result. To date, there is no preventative methods known for type 1. Ten percent of all diabetics in North American and Europe have this type of diabetes. This type was originally called “juvenile diabetes", due to a majority of cases being children. Type 1 diabetes can be treated with insulin and monitored by using glucose meters. Diet and exercise can aid in the management of this disorder. Treatment should not interfere with normal activities, as long as there is sufficient awareness, appropriate care and discipline taken in testing and taking prescribed medications.
Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of defective insulin secretion and insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. Although the exact cause for type 2 is unknown, it seems that central obesity predisposes people for insulin resistance, possibly because of hormone secretions that impair glucose tolerance. Fifty-five percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes are obese. Aging and family history also seem to play a role in the onset of this type. Type 2 diabetes is first treated by diet and exercise, which can restore insulin sensitivity. Some diabetics can control their glucose levels just by these natural methods. If this doesn't work, the next step is treatment with oral ant diabetic drugs. If the oral medications fail, insulin therapy will be implemented.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you probably will need to be monitoring your blood sugar levels with glucose meters on a regular basis. Talk to your doctor about getting a glucose meter to monitor your glucose levels.
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