November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Here’s a comprehensive look at diabetes from the National Institute on Aging. The article explains the disease, the various types of diabetes, the symptoms and how to manage it. Take a few minutes to read this article.
Diabetes is a serious disease. People get diabetes when their blood glucose level, sometimes called blood sugar, is too high. The good news is that there are things you can do to take control of diabetes and prevent its problems. And, if you are worried about getting diabetes, there are things you can do to lower your risk.
What Is Diabetes?
Our bodies turn the food we eat into glucose. Insulin helps glucose get into our cells, where it can be used to make energy. If you have diabetes, your body may not make enough insulin, may not use insulin in the right way, or both. That can cause too much glucose in the blood. Your family doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in taking care of people with diabetes, called an endocrinologist.
Types of Diabetes: There are two main kinds of diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. Although adults can develop this type of diabetes, it occurs most often in children and young adults.
- Type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin but doesn’t use it the right way. It is the most common kind of diabetes. It occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults, but it can also affect children. Your chance of getting type 2 diabetes is higher if you are overweight, inactive, or have a family history of diabetes.
Diabetes can affect many parts of your body. It’s important to keep diabetes under control. Over time, it can cause serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and circulation problems that may lead to amputation. People with type 2 diabetes also have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.