Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction. Your body attacks the beta cells in the pancreas by destroying them. Beta cells in the pancreas are responsible for the production of insulin. Without insulin, your body cannot utilize glucose at the cellular level and transport it to tissues such as the liver, muscles, and adipose tissue to be used as a fuel for the body.
With type 2 diabetes your body cannot use insulin properly, therefore cannot keep up normal glucose levels.
This type of diabetes is developed over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, you may not notice present symptoms, such as: frequent urination, thirst, blurry vision, numbness of the extremities, and fatigue, which is why it is important to monitor your glucose levels if you are at risk.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, in women that had never been diabetic. If a woman develops gestational diabetes, the baby is at risk of health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, however, in some cases it may become a permanent health condition.
Pre-Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 1 in 3 adult Americans have a pre-diabetic condition, but the vast majority are not aware of it.
Usually, the causes of pre-diabetes condition is a combination of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors. For example, if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes and are overweight, you are more likely to develop pre-diabetes and consequently type 2 diabetes.
In many cases, pre-diabetes doesn’t have any specific symptoms, yet some people may experience blurry vision, fatigue, and frequent urination. These symptoms are very similar to type 2 diabetes.
The main difference between prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is the level of blood glucose in the blood, and most importantly, pre-diabetes can often be reversed unlike type 2 diabetes.
If you are pre-diabetic, then eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and losing even a small amount of weight (if you are overweight) can significantly reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In some cases, medication is needed to lower blood sugar levels.
While pre-diabetes can be a serious condition, it can be managed and prevented. By understanding risk factors, symptoms, and causes you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and live a healthier life. It is important to make lifestyle changes and seek medical professionals if you experience any pre-diabetes symptoms.