Essential Guide: Understanding Diabetes- Everything You Need To Know
If you’ve ever found yourself curious about the inner workings of diabetes, you’re not alone. Understanding this prevalent condition can pave the way for better health management for you and your loved ones.
What exactly is Diabetes?
Diabetes can happen when your blood sugar is too high, often for long periods of time. The cells of your body need sugar (also known as glucose) for energy. But, in diabetes, there is too much sugar in your blood, and your cells have a hard time getting this sugar out of the blood to use for fuel.
Let’s break down the types:
1. Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, there’s too much sugar in the blood because a person’s pancreas stops working well. A healthy pancreas makes a special hormone messenger called “insulin” that helps cells take up sugar from the blood to use as fuel. But, when the pancreas stops making insulin, the cells can’t use sugar from the blood anymore. Often diagnosed in childhood, this type is sometimes referred to as “juvenile diabetes.”
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Here sugar accumulates in the blood due to cells’ decreased responsiveness to insulin’s signals. It’s as if insulin is knocking at the door of the cells, but they won’t open up and let in any sugar. Cells can become less sensitive to insulin in this way if the blood sugar has been chronically high over a long period. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect adults, but it can also occur in children.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, the hormonal shifts of pregnancy can affect the way that your cells use sugar as fuel.
Recognizing symptoms of Diabetes
At first, if you have diabetes or prediabetes you may have no symptoms at all. But, as diabetes progresses, it’s possible to experience a number of symptoms, including:
- Feeling very thirsty or hungry
- Losing weight unintentionally
- Feeling tired
- Nausea, bloating, or vomiting (these can be caused by gastroparesis, which is when the stomach empties more slowly)
- Nerve pain
- Frequent infections
Tips for Managing Diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, one of the most important tips for managing your condition is staying on top of your diet by limiting refined and added sugar. Pairing carbohydrates with protein or fat can help regulate blood sugar spikes. If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin administration becomes crucial, while type 2 diabetes management may include an oral or injectable medication, alongside adjustments.
To learn more about clinical research trials involving diabetes, make sure to check out our currently enrolling clinical trials. Understanding diabetes empowers you to take charge of your health journey effectively. Stay informed, stay proactive, and together, we can navigate this condition with confidence.