Diabetes is a disease marked by an excess of glucose, also called blood sugar, in your blood. When you eat, the food is broken down by your digestive system and turned into glucose, which your blood delivers to all the cells in your body. Normally, your pancreas manufactures a hormone called insulin that helps glucose enter your cells.
For a person suffering from diabetes, this system breaks down:
- Type 1 Diabetes: This is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin. To stay alive, type 1 diabetes patients must take insulin every day.
- Type 2 Diabetes: This type of diabetes is less severe, but can still be life-threatening. It is also the most common. Your body still produces insulin, though there are problems in manufacturing or using it.
- Gestational Diabetes: This type only occurs in pregnant women. Symptoms and management are similar to type 2 diabetes. It usually disappears after the baby is born, but it does lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.
Though diabetes cannot be cured, it can be managed through timely diagnosis of the problem and administration of the appropriate insulin injections. If you suspect you may have diabetes, or if you’ve already been diagnosed, visit familyfirst Family Medical Center for a checkup.