Diabetes is a very common medical condition. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 29.1 million Americans with diabetes, and that number grows every day. Diabetes impacts the way a person’s body uses sugar for energy. A body with diabetes either does not produce enough insulin, or does not use the insulin it has effectively, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood.
What Are the Types of Diabetes?
There are three major types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, Type 1 diabetes develops when the cells that should produce insulin are destroyed by an autoimmune process. As a result, the body is unable to produce enough insulin. 5-10% of the population has Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Previously known as adult-onset diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, Type 2 diabetes develops when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Type 2 diabetes is increasing as the number of overweight and obese children and adults increases.
Gestational diabetes develops in women during pregnancy, due to hormones or by an insufficient amount of insulin. It typically goes away after the end of pregnancy.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Diabetes?
Unless you know what to watch for, many diabetes symptoms are easy to ignore. But, knowledge can help prevent severe diabetes complications from developing. Any of the below symptoms are common to patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes:
- Excessive Urination
- Rapid Weight Loss
- Blurry Vision
If you exhibit these symptoms, it is a good idea to visit a medical professional immediately.
Using Insulin to Treat Diabetes
All diabetes patients, regardless of types of diabetes, should have a diabetes treatment plan. First, individuals with diabetes are encouraged to incorporate changes into their lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. A personal meal plan and regular activity can help with weight loss, and most type 2 diabetes patients are overweight or obese. But, if an individual cannot lower their diabetes with diet, exercise, or other medications, they may need to try other medicinal means.
Individuals with Type 1 diabetes lack insulin, so they must use insulin injections to compensate. The amount of insulin needed varies from patient to patient, as it must match their food intake and calories burnt to keep their blood sugar levels in the appropriate range. If they fail to take insulin, they may enter a diabetic coma, which can be life-threatening. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes cannot use the insulin they produce, so they use insulin medication to keep them in the normal range. Most people with Type 2 diabetes will eventually need to take insulin as it progresses. Whether it is for short-term or long-term control is to be determined by their healthcare provider.
Different medications are used to treat diabetes. Insulin is generally used to control blood sugar in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. The goal of insulin injection is to mimic the functions of a healthy pancreas, and produce a controlled amount of the hormone to cope with sudden boosts in blood sugar.
Medications are carefully selected to ensure patients do not experience undesirable side effects, and remain in the correct “normal” blood sugar range for their individual needs. Insulin can be injected with a syringe, pen or pump. Insulin medication is also available in pill form. Although blood sugar control can be initially treated with lifestyle changes and oral medication, most individuals with Type 2 diabetes eventually need to take insult injections.
Visit Mississippicare for Help with Diabetes Self-Management
Diabetes is a complex, chronic condition that can change drastically, and pose serious health risks without proper management. You should do everything you can to help manage diabetes, starting with scheduling an appointment at your local medical clinic.
Mississippicare is a healthcare provider that has your best interest at heart. We offer discounted rates so all Arkansans, regardless of financial means, may receive the care they need. This means we see patients with insurance, without insurance, and those with not enough coverage. We offer assistance to those who are unable to access healthcare through traditional means, those who either do not have insurance or cannot afford it, the homeless, and those in recovery.
We are here to help you and make sure your needs are met through individualized healthcare and treatment. Our caring team of doctors and dentists are here to provide medical and dental services for every member of your family, from babies to older adults. If you have a high risk of developing diabetes, we can diagnose main symptoms, help you watch for key warning signs, educate you on diabetes management, and create an individualized diabetes treatment plan. Call or make an appointment today!