Diabetes 101: types, causes, symptoms and treatments

Diabetes 101: types, causes, symptoms and treatments
Photo: stevepb, Pixabay

Diabetes is a chronic illness that mainly occurs when your body cannot effectively use the insulin that it produces. Insulin is a hormone which is responsible for regulating blood sugar level. If your body fails to produce enough insulin, then this can lead to diabetes. Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar level) is the most common effects of uncontrolled diabetes that can potentially damage your blood vessels and nerves.

The condition can be categorised into several types, all of which require different types of management. If you want to treat diabetes effectively, then you have to know about its type first. Continue reading to know all the information about the types and treatment of diabetes, while familiarising yourself with causes and symptoms.

Types

Diabetes, in general, can be categorised into three different types. However, some people also consider prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels as another type of diabetes. This type of condition is known as prediabetes. Overall, it is fair to conclude that there are four different types of diabetes. They are as follows:

  • Type 1: This is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system affects the cells in the pancreas.
  • Type 2: This is the most common types of diabetes that occurs when the human body becomes resistant to insulin. Due to this reason, sugar builds up in blood that increases the blood sugar level.
  • Gestational diabetes: During pregnancy women often produce insulin-blocking hormones. It can also increase the sugar level in your blood. This type of condition is known as gestational diabetes.
  • Prediabetes: This type of condition occurs when your blood sugar level gets high than usual but not as type 2 diabetes.

Causes

Each form of diabetes often has different causes, which are as follows:

Type 1

Doctors and researchers still don’t know what actually causes type 1 diabetes. It is anticipated that genes might play a significant role in creating this type of condition. Some studies suggest that severe virus attacks on the person’s immune system can also lead to type 1 diabetes.

Type 2

Your lifestyle and genetic factors can trigger this type of condition. If you are overweight, most likely because of a poor diet and lack of exercise, then your cells will become resistant to the effectiveness of insulin. This is why maintaining a healthy weight and completing frequent exercise is very important. This is the main reason that causes type 2 diabetes. The condition also runs in genes.

Gestational diabetes

This type of condition is nothing more than the result of the hormonal changes that women experience during pregnancy. During this period, a pregnant woman’s placenta cells produce a special type of hormone that makes their cells less sensitive to insulin.

Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes are caused by the high blood sugar level. Obviously, diabetes will affect each individual differently, however, there are several common symptoms that you should be aware of should you feel like you have the condition.

Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2

  1. Increased urination
  2. Extreme hunger
  3. Weight loss
  4. Extreme thirst
  5. Fatigue
  6. Slow healing wounds and sores
  7. Blurry vision
  8. Yeast infections
  9. Tiredness
  10. Skin problems

Gestational diabetes

Most of the women don’t have any particular symptoms for gestational diabetes. Doctors mainly detect the condition during the routine blood sugar tests that are generally administered during pregnancy.

Symptoms in men

Apart from the general symptoms of diabetes, many men also experience erectile dysfunction (ED) and decreased sex drive. Experiencing poor muscle strength can also be a symptom of diabetes in men.

Symptoms in women

Women in particular also experience some additional symptoms of diabetes. Some women may find that their skin is very dry and itchy. On top of this, recurring urinary tract infections are also indicative of diabetes.

Treatment

Individual receiving a sugar blood test.
A sugar blood test is one way of monitoring an individual’s blood levels. Photo: HansMartinPaul, Pixabay

Individuals are always recommended to visit the best medical centre around their location to receive the best care and treatment for diabetes. Doctors use different medications to treat the condition. Some of them are oral drugs, while other doctors will recommend  injections.

Doctors mainly prescribe insulin to those who have type 1 diabetes. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, proper dieting and exercising are the two best solutions for treating the symptoms. If you manage to change your lifestyle, then you will be able to lower your blood sugar level automatically. On the other hand, you will need severe dietary changes to control the symptoms of gestational diabetes.