Diabetes or Diabetes Melllitus is a disease which is associated with high levels of sugar, or glucose, in the bloodstream. The cause of diabetes is too little insulin produced by the pancreas, resistance to insulin, or both. Insulin is needed to regulate blood sugar
Glucose is a form of sugar which we ingest with food and fluids. During digestion, our body absorbs the glucose. It is then delivered by the blood to all the cells of the body.
The pancreas produces insulin which regulates the amount of glucose that we have in our bloodstream. All of our body cells need a certain level of glucose in order for them to maintain their normal function.
If you have Diabetes, you have high blood glucose levels.
If you do not control or reverse diabetes, it can lead to blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy (numbness and pain in all extremities) and circulation problems.
If your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, death can result.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Type 1 used to be referred to as 'insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes begins with what is called 'insulin resistance'. This is a condition where your cells fail to respond properly to insulin. This usually progresses into a lack of insulin as well. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus used to be referred to as 'non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus' or 'adult onset diabetes'.
Type 1 diabetes is normally treated with insulin injections, type 2 diabetes with medications that may or may not include insulin. diabetes can also be treated with diet and exercise.
About 1 in 11 people have diabetes, and it is estimated that about 86 million people have prediabetes and do not know it. In the US., diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death.
If you have diabetes, your learning about the disease and actively participating in its treatment is very important. Complications are less common and less severe in those people who manage their blood sugar levels.
How do you know if you have diabetes?
You cannot be sure without undergoing blood tests, which will assess your sugar levels. If you have concerns, see your health care professional.
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