Diabetes is a collective term for any condition that prevents your body from making and using insulin properly. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, regulates glucose levels in your blood and gets rid of any excess.
Diabetes can lead to dangerous sugar buildup in your body, which may result in further complications. A Family medicine physician in Lutz can help you manage the symptoms of this condition and lead a normal life.
Main Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Although each type manifests differently, the underlying implication is an excessive buildup of sugars in your bloodstream.
- 1. Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It develops when your immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin in your body. It affects around 1.25 million people in the United States and accounts for 5 percent of total diabetes diagnoses.
- 2. Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by your body developing resistance to insulin and the inability of your pancreas to beat the resistance. It accounts for the most diabetes diagnoses.
- 3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women, who likely have not had diabetes before that. It usually resolves after the woman giv es birth but may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
1 in every 4 people with diabetes is unaware that they have the condition. Understanding the risk factors for diabetes can help you guard against or reverse its severe effects on your health.
Below we look at the most common factors that could up your chances of developing diabetes:
Although type 1 diabetes can affect people of any age, it is more common among children younger than 14 years and younger adults. In contrast, type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect people over 45 years of age. Up to 18.4 percent of people over age 65 in the United States have type 2 diabetes.
Women with a history of gestational diabetes or who gave birth to a baby who weighs more than 9 pounds at birth have a high probability of getting type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is highly prevalent among Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. Nonetheless, experts are unable to explain the reason for this.
- Family History
Having a close relative, such as a sibling or parent with the disease. Studies indicate that the closer the diabetic relative is to you, the higher your risk.
Pre-existing Health Conditions
Patients suffering from depression, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often contract diabetes.
Some risk factors of diabetes are beyond your control. However, several others are preventable. They include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight or obesity
- Exposure to alcohol or tobacco
- Fat-based diet
Every 8 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Research shows that having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 heightens your risk of diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
The risk factors for gestational diabetes are almost similar to those of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They include family history, previous stillbirths, unhealthy diet, and being overweight or obesity
Prevention and Treatment
At present, there is no cure for diabetes. However, with some key changes in your lifestyle and proper medical care, you can go into remission. Simple steps you can take to manage diabetes include:
- Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week
- Adopting a plant-rich, low-salt, and low-sugar diet
- Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, sugary snacks, junk food, and processed meals
- You should also take your medication as prescribed by your physician, without fail.
If you experience signs like increased hunger, weight loss, fatigue, and blurry vision, call Samantha Lindsay, MD, and her team to schedule a check-up.