Diabetes affects nearly 26 million American children and adults, including seven million people who have yet to be diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in United States and is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness and amputations of limbs not associated with trauma. It is also a major cause of heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
There are two types of diabetes:
- In type 1—formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes—the body fails to produce the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar in the body. Type 1 usually occurs in children or young adults, but it can develop at any age.
- In type 2—previously known as adult-onset diabetes—the body develops insulin resistance, a disorder in which the cells don’t use insulin properly and can’t trigger the conversion of food into energy. As the body’s need for insulin increases, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce the hormone. Type 2 accounts for more than 90 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
The warning signs of diabetes include:
Diabetes treatment and management are centered on diet, insulin regulation and oral medication to lower blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes must have insulin delivered by injection or a pump to survive.
Many people with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose levels by:
Medications often change during the course of the disease, and some people with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin to control their blood glucose levels. Many people with diabetes may also need medications to control cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Education and training to self-manage the disease is vital for the diabetic to achieve improved health and a better quality of life. By learning healthy eating habits, being active and accurately monitoring blood sugar levels, type 2 diabetics can successfully manage their disease and related conditions.
Managing diabetes can be very challenging. Here are some resources to help you learn more about diabetes and how best to manage it. Be sure to check with your health care team before making any changes to your diabetes plan.
Our diabetes specialists are here to help you control the disease and avoid these life-threatening complications. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 949-824-8656.