Diabetes is a medical condition in which your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body doesn’t process insulin correctly. These two issues are classified as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1; 95% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. It is often diagnosed in adulthood and often is linked to obesity and poor diet and lifestyle choices. Type 2 diabetes often is referred to as hyperglycemia and can lead to the overproduction of insulin by the pancreas. Over time, the pancreas is unable to keep up with the demand and can go into failure. Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, only affects a small portion of diabetics and usually is diagnosed in childhood with links to family medical history.
Another form of the disease is gestational diabetes, which only affects pregnant women. This condition is not uncommon and is managed easily with dietary adjustments in most cases.
Diabetes presents a variety of symptoms including:
However, you may have diabetes and not experience any of these symptoms. As with most medical conditions, the earlier a disease like diabetes is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is. That’s one of the many reasons it is important to attend regular checkups and to have blood panels to check for signs of diabetes and other easily treated and controlled conditions.
Type 1 diabetes has strong links to your family history and genetics. For example, if one of your parents has type 1 diabetes, it is more likely that you may develop the condition.
Type 2 diabetes, however, has a number of associated risk factors including:
Dr. McDonald works with you to create a customized treatment plan to address your individual needs. This treatment plan typically includes changes to your diet and exercise habits and in some cases may include medication. You may need to monitor your glucose levels and learn to administer the test at home. Eating a healthy diet and exercising for 30 minutes, five days a week can help your body regulate insulin levels.
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