The different types of diabetes

When the food you eat is broken down into glucose (sugar), it is released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, your pancreas kicks in and releases insulin. Diabetes is a condition when your pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or your body doesn’t use the insulin properly. Not addressing the sugar in your blood can cause serious health problems like vision loss, heart disease, and kidney disease. Diabetes can present at different points in life.

Type 1 Diabetes

This classification of diabetes is caused by the pancreas producing little to no insulin. Genetics and some viruses can contribute to this condition. It is most often developed during childhood or adolescence but there are cases of symptoms not presenting until adulthood. Patients with this condition must monitor their insulin and inject insulin as needed to maintain levels. Like many conditions, diet and lifestyle can make maintenance easier, but patients will still need to monitor their insulin levels. Insulin pumps have made monitoring this condition easier in recent years.

Type 2 Diabetes

About 90-95% of people with diabetes have this type where your body doesn’t use insulin well. This condition usually develops over years and presents itself in adults. It is becoming more common in younger Americans. To avoid developing type 2 diabetes, it is key to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and follow a healthy diet. You may not always show diabetes symptoms when you have this condition. It is important to have your blood sugar routinely checked.   

Gestational Diabetes

This condition presents itself during pregnancy and often goes away post-delivery. Most women can control their glucose levels with diet and exercise. It is important to maintain your blood sugar during pregnancy for your and your baby’s health. 

For the mother, gestational diabetes can increase the risk of:

  • Developing future diabetes
  • High-blood pressure and preeclampsia which can be life threatening to both mother and baby
  • Needed C-section delivery

The baby also has risks when a mother has gestational diabetes. These include:

  • High birth weight
  • Preterm birth
  • Respiratory distress syndrome which makes breathing difficult
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) shortly after birth which can cause seizures
  • Obesity later in life
  • Stillbirth

Prediabetes

According to the CDC, ⅓ of Americans have prediabetes. This means their blood sugar is high but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, be sure to bring this up to your doctor. To help prevent diabetes, live an active lifestyle; be sure to exercise at least 3 times a week. You should also maintain a healthy diet and work to ensure you are within a healthy weight range. Being overweight will increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

HealthStar Physicians Premier Medical is here to serve the medical needs of your entire family. Reach out to us to set up annual exams. We are here to help you maintain your diabetes condition or to set up a plan to help avoid developing diabetes. 

We’re Newport’s compassionate and experienced healthcare provider. We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.