There are two types of diabetes: the type 1 diabetes and the type 2 diabetes. The first type of diabetes is less common than the first. The diabetes type 1 affects people who are younger, some in their teenage years. This happens because this diabetes type is mainly associated with the lack of insulin in ones body. The first signs of diabetes can be very mild or on the contrary very abrupt. It all depends on the person that suffers from diabetes.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is the islet cells of the pancreas. When your body starts to see one of your tissues as foreign, that is when this type of diabetes happens. This is a mistake of the immune system. In the case of diabetes, type 1, the cells that are seen as the enemy are the ones that produce insulin, the islet cells. The body then starts to fight against them, reducing their ability of producing insulin, thus leading to diabetes. The main cause for this
disorder that leads to diabetes is genetics. It can also be a result of a viral infection, measles, rubella, polio that can be the cause of diabetes. Some of the people may also have a genetical tendency to develop diabetes. For example, two people are infected with the same virus, but only one of them develops diabetes. This is because that person is more prone to diabetes than the other. There are some other causes for this type of diabetes, but they are very rare. One of the diabetes causes may be
an injury to the pancreas.
The best treatment for this diabetes type 1 is with shots of insulin. When you have diabetes, the insulin is injected under your skin, in the fat. This way it is absorbed into the blood and taken to all the cells of the body that need it. This diabetes treatment can not be taken in the from of a pill, because the juices found in our stomach would destroy it even before it would have a chance to work. At the moment there are no other methods for this diabetes treatment besides shots. Scientist are still working to find new ways of giving insulin to patients who have diabetes. Insulin pumps for diabetes are being tested at the moment, but there is nothing certain yet. Using insulin is the only diabetes treatment used in our days.
Diabetes type 2 also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease which appears when the insulin produced by the pancreas can not reduce the blood level of glucose. Sometimes diabetes appears when insulin is not produced in a sufficient quantity by the pancreas. The role of insulin is to take the glucose from the blood and lead it inside the body cells which use it to produce energy. If the level of glucose is too high in blood it will be eliminated by the kidneys in urine.
Diabetes type 1 is known to occur during childhood and was named as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The pancreas is not able to produce the insulin any more as the cells responsible to this process have been destroyed by the body. These patients require insulin injections permanently.
Diabetes type 2 occurs mostly during adulthood and is found in 90% of the diabetic patients. In this case the insulin is not produced in sufficient quantities or it is not effective on the body cells. This type of diabetes occurs mostly in obese people and in those who have high levels of cholesterol in blood. Elder people can get affected of this type of diabetes too.
There is another type of diabetes called the gestational diabetes which sometimes occurs in women who are pregnant.
Genetics and family history also have an important role in determining whether diabetes type 2 will install or not. Also, having a sedentary lifestyle, eating junk food will only increase the risk of developing this affection.
Some other risk factors are: the age over 45, high blood pressure, HDL less than 35 mg/dl, triglycerides more than 250 mg/dl and a previous history of personal impaired glucose tolerance.
Most of the diabetes type 2 cases do not present any symptoms at all. In some cases increased thirst, appetite and urination might occur along with blurred vision, fatigue, infections, and erectile dysfunctions.
Diagnosing diabetes is made after the doctor sees the results of some tests. He will ask for fasting blood glucose level (it has to be higher than 126 mg/dl in order for the patient to have diabetes); non-fasting blood glucose level which leads to a suspicion of diabetes if higher than 200 mg/dl and along with symptoms of increased thirst, urination, and fatigue; and positive oral glucose tolerance test (if found higher than 200 mg/dl after 2 hours).
The treatment of diabetes focuses on eliminating the symptoms and keeping the blood glucose levels under control.
At first the doctor will recommend the patient to exercise daily and to keep a diet. Also, monitoring regularly the level of glucose in blood is essential for further treatment measures. If weight is being reduced type 2 diabetes can be managed quite easily along with keeping a diet and exercising. The doctor will help the patient to test his level of glucose in blood by its own; will let him know what he is allowed to eat and what he must avoid; will advise him what to do when he feels sick and will tell him where he can procure his diabetes supplies.
Testing the level of glucose in blood can be done by the patient without the doctor’s help. These tests are usually done before meals and at bedtime. The patient will monitor its level of glucose in blood with the help of a glucometer. This device shows quickly the results, in about 30 seconds. All the patient needs to do is prick his finger with a small needle attached to the glucometer and a drop of blood will appear on the finger. This drop of blood will be then placed on the glucometer’s test strip and the results will appear in no time. By keeping a record of the values obtained in several days by the glucometer the doctor will be able to set a more adequate treatment scheme for the patient.
Keeping a diet is very important along with exercising as it can help the overweight patient reach a satisfying weight and reduce the glucose level in blood in this way. The diet will be also set by the doctor and a nutritionist who will choose healthy foods for the patient, in adequate amounts, and will also set a schedule for taking meals.
A well-planned gestational diabetes diet can reverse the symptoms of gestational diabetes that you are exhibiting and enable you to enjoy a healthy delivery. Gestational diabetes develops in otherwise diabetes-free women, normally in the 24th to 28th weeks of their pregnancies.
As with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes can be effectively controlled in most cases, and even reversed completely in many cases, through implementing a gestational diabetes diet and getting daily physical exercise. Remember, what causes diabetes mellitus is poor dieting and sedentary living year after year.
Gestational diabetes symptoms often go unnoticed or are not thought to be unusual given that the individual is pregnant. Most frequently, gestational diabetes symptoms include being very thirsty and having to pee many times every day. Many women just consider this a natural part of pregnancy and pay it no mind. However, if the thirst is a result of elevated blood-glucose levels, then the developing baby is put at risk if the symptoms are not controlled.
The excess glucose in the mother’s bloodstream can pass through the placental wall and enter into the developing baby. Glucose in excess of what is required to fuel the baby’s development is then are stored as fat and can cause macrosomia (fat baby syndrome). Macrosomia can cause a number of health issues including:
- Problems with delivery because the baby is too large;
- A slowed metabolism and a propensity for the development of pancreatic issues in the baby;
- Getting off to a start in life carrying extra weight and being prone to become overweight and/or obese;
The gestational diabetes diet is just the same as a Type 2 diabetes diet and should be based as follows:
- Water foods are the main concentration. That means plants: vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes;
- Only low-fat and non-fat dairy products;
- Only the leanest cuts of meat with all excess fat trimmed;
- Avoid saturated fats;
- Strongly avoid Trans fats;
- Avoid alcohol:
- Avoid fast foods and processed foods;
- Avoid microwave foods and high-sugar foods;
- Avoid high-sodium foods;
- Drink plenty of fresh water every day;
- Eat 5 or 6 small meals every day – not just 1 or 2 large meals;
- Eat your meals at the same times every day;
In addition to planning and employing your healthy gestational diabetes diet, you also need to do the following:
- Talk to your doctor and have him run blood work to determine if you have gestational diabetes for sure;
- Exercise for 20 or 30 minutes every day – not like a maniac, just enough to get your heart pumping strong;
- Check your blood sugar often at home with a home glucose monitor. The more often the better;
- Resist your urges for ice cream and other naughty snacks – even though you’re pregnant. Being pregnant is the most important time to ensure that everything you eat is optimally healthful!
- Develop and practice gentle techniques for stress management like meditation, Yoga and Pilates. Stress is your enemy.
Following a gestational diabetes diet, exercising every day and effectively managing your stress will ensure that your pregnancy is trouble-free and that you baby gets off to a healthy head-start in life. Begin today!
Steven R Arnold