Diabetes is a disorder that affects your insulin’s ability to process sugars. When you eat food, your body turns it into a simple sugar called glucose. Some foods are so complex that they take a long time to turn to glucose and are used by your body almost immediately. Some other foods that you might eat on a daily or weekly basis are converted to glucose very quickly and, because your body might not need that much glucose all at once, they may be stored as fat for your body to access and use later. Examples of these would be sugary snacks, sodas and white bread. Insulin, a vital hormone that is produced by the pancreas, is responsible for breaking down the stored glucose so that it can be absorbed by your cells and your body can use it for energy.
Types of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes. They are:
Type I diabetes is diagnosed mostly in children and so far is incurable. Diabetes treatment requires daily insulin injections and when it is not properly treated it can result in coma or death. Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body to use glucose. People with Type I diabetes must be very careful with their diet. They should avoid foods that break down into glucose very quickly because they can flood the system with sugars that the diabetic can not process. Type I diabetics face a daily challenge in the delicate balance between eating foods and injecting themselves with insulin. They may even have to adjust the amount of insulin they inject depending on their day to day eating habits.
Type II diabetes is often the result of a weight problem and is diagnosed in children, teens and adults. With Type II diabetes, the patient can and does produce insulin but the cells have become resistant to absorbing the glucose after it has been broken down by the insulin. Type II diabetes is treated with diet, exercise and a pill. Diabetes treatment in the form of insulin injections is not necessary since there is nothing wrong with the patient’s pancreas and insulin production. Weight loss as a result of proper diet and exercise can possibly reverse some of the symptoms of Type II diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Unfortunately, diabetes has symptoms that are relatively common and shared with other disorders. You should still become familiar with these symptoms, since they can give you an early warning sign that you are in danger.
If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms of diabetes, it is imperative that you see your primary care physician immediately. He or she can do a blood test (after you have fasted for a certain number of hours) to test your blood sugar levels. It is a simple and painless test that can give you close to immediate results. Then, if it turns out you are diabetic or pre diabetic, your primary care physician can give you some medical diabetes treatment options as well as exercise and nutrition lessons that will help you be as healthy as you can be and, in the event you are pre diabetic, prevent the actual onset of diabetes—especially Type II diabetes since it is mostly caused by being overweight and eating an unhealthy diet. Although, even those with Type I diabetes can benefit from exercise and absolutely must eat a healthy diet.
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