Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease. Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile onset diabetes and normally begins in the early years of life. When this form of the disease is present, the body destroys the cells that produce or release insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the body is not able to use the insulin it has. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. If a person has had it for many years, the pancreas may eventually reduce the amount of insulin it creates. While Type 1 diabetes accounts for less than 10 percent of the total reported cases, Type 2 diabetes makes up the other 90 percent. Gestational diabetes is less common, occurring during pregnancy and will often correct itself once the child has been delivered.
Diabetes presents many symptoms. Common diabetic symptoms include dizziness, frequent urination, increased thirst, blurry vision, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and wounds that will not heal or heal very slowly. If diabetes is allowed to progress it can affect other organs including the nervous system, the heart, the blood vessels, the kidneys, and the eyes. Sometimes the symptoms of diabetes may be so mild, a person may discount them or believe they are the result of something else. Having an annual screening with your annual wellness exam can help to diagnose and treat the disease early.
Treatment for diabetes is an ongoing process that requires a continual commitment by the patient to make healthy choices regarding their diet and exercise as well as monitoring blood glucose levels using finger stick tests. In some cases, lifestyle changes are not enough to manage the disease and the patient will need to give themselves insulin injections on a daily basis to maintain sufficient glucose levels for healthy body function. Managing diabetes is important for maintaining overall health. Studies have shown people with diabetes are at a greater risk for developing other serious medical conditions, including heart disease, kidney damage, vision loss, circulation problems, skin issues like slow-to-heal sores, nerve damage and hearing loss. Some studies have even suggested a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
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