Diabetes: A Brief Overview

no cure for type 1 diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Most experts and diabetic individuals would acknowledge diabetes is a lack of insulin and is prevalent in children and young adults but can develop at any age (type 1). Children and young adults have to take insulin for the remainder of their lives to survive with periods of low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia), a way of life. On the other hand, some individuals do not have enough insulin or the pancreas does not use it properly (type 2). Adults are mostly affected by type 2 diabetes. However, with more and more children and young adults becoming obese or overweight the type 2 diagnosis will increase among their age groups.

 

What role does insulin play in our everyday lives?

 

According to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation at https://www.diabetesresearch.org/what-is-type-one-diabetes, “Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allow you to use the glucose for energy.  Without insulin, there is no “key.”   So, the sugar stays — and builds up– in the blood. The result: the body’s cells starve from the lack of glucose.  and, if left untreated, the high level of “blood sugar” can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves, and the heart, and can also lead to coma and death”. 1

Naming Some of the other known types of diabetes!

There are other known types of diabetes, such as Gestational Diabetes, where women who did not have diabetes experience a high level of blood sugar during pregnancy. It must be emphasized this condition must be recognized and treated immediately or could cause significant health problems for mother and child/children. In general, blood sugar levels would return to normal after pregnancy. However, this is not always a guarantee.

Additional types of diabetes discovered according to the  Joslin Diabetes Center at http://blog.joslin.org/2011/06/how-many-types-of-diabetes-are-there/called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). Think of LADA as a slowly progressing version of type 1 with some of the characteristics of type 2.  In fact, some people call it type 1.5. There’s more.  Type 1, 2, gestational diabetes and LADA are polygenic—this means that it takes the involvement of many genes to cause the disease.  But there are other, much rarer forms of diabetes that are monogenic, meaning a change in only one gene is responsible for the condition. There are two types of conditions in this category: Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young  (MODY) and Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM)”.2

Another form of diabetes is Prediabetes. The Mayo Clinic stated at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/home/ovc-20270022, “Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys — may already be starting. Prediabetes affects adults and children. The same lifestyle changes that can help prevent progression to diabetes in adults might also help bring children’s blood sugar levels back to normal’.3

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2 thoughts on “Diabetes: A Brief Overview

  1. Your information is always so informative Burt. Thank you and I know this is going to help so many others take the initiative they need to make some changes.

    1. Thank you very much for stopping by and offering me your feedback. support and kind words. I plan on offering additional information as time goes by. My ongoing battle with diabetes will always guide me to present relevant information with the aim of making a difference.

      Again, I am very appreciative of you taking time out to stop by again! A better understanding of diabetes can help and guide us towards making better future healthy lifestyle choices, not limited to our eating habits!

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