What is Diabetes?
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased urination
- Unquenchable thirst
- Extreme hunger, even when you’re eating
- Injuries take longer to heal than they should
- Blurred vision
- Extreme fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss (most common with type 1)
- Feeling like your hands or feet are asleep or in pain (most common with type 2)
There are two types of chronic diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes, also sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes, is frequently diagnosed in children and young adults. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. Less than five percent of people with diabetes have this type. People with this type are typically diagnosed before they are 20 years old. If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin is required daily, and you will learn to keep your blood sugar at an acceptable level by balancing your insulin with your food and activity.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. 95 percent of diabetics have type 2 diabetes. With this type, a person may still be able to produce insulin, but either their body does not produce enough, or their body’s cells ignore the insulin present in the body (insulin resistance). With type 2 diabetes, you may need to take medications. Exercise and meal planning are extremely important to manage type 2 diabetes and keep your blood sugar levels healthy.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use glucose (sugar) for energy. Specifically, insulin helps glucose move from your bloodstream into your body’s cells. When your insulin level is off, glucose can build up in your bloodstream. When you have diabetes, you either don’t make enough insulin or your body is resistant to your insulin. Both of these situations are controllable.