Unfortunately in today’s society diabetes is increasing in occurrence every day, with the increased population of overweight people and the lifestyles that we Americans live. Type 1 diabetes was previously known as Juvenile diabetes. This type is usually diagnosed during childhood or in the young adult stage of life. In this case the body fails to produce any insulin at all and leaves the body unable to function appropriately. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes today. With type 2 diabetes the body’s blood sugar fluctuates and rises higher than normal levels at times, basically your body doesn’t produce and use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed later on in life. Symptoms associated with diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, fatigue, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that take a long time to heal. With type 1 diabetes the person may experience increased weight loss even though their appetite and food intake have increased. Type 2 diabetes may experience unusual pain, numbness/tingling in their feet and/or hands.
Diabetes can be diagnosed in a few different ways but may need to be repeated at least once for the diagnosis to be confirmed. Hemoglobin A1C (HgbA1C) uses a blood sample and calculates a person’s blood glucose level over a two to three month period; the level will be equal to or greater than 6.5%. Another test is the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG), this also uses blood but requires that the person have nothing to eat or drink (except water) at least eight hours prior to the test, the glucose level will be equal to or greater than 126mg/dl. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is performed by having the person come in and have labs drawn upon arrival and two hours after to see how the levels changed, positive results will have a blood glucose equal to or greater than 200mg/dl. Random or Casual Plasma Glucose Test can be performed at any time of the day when there are symptoms of severe diabetes; results for this test will also be equal to or greater than 200mg/dl.
With these two different types of diabetes, type 1 is not preventable. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy body weight, increase physical activity and of course eat a healthy nutritional diet. Eating the appropriate amounts of vegetables, fruits, grains, meats and fats daily is important for our bodies even though it is sometimes hard to do.
With either type of diabetes insulin in some form may be required. Type 1 will be insulin injections with either individual syringes or an insulin pump. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with pills and/or insulin injections, if not controlled by diet and exercise. These treatments are usually taken for the rest of a person’s life, once the diagnosis is confirmed. With type 2 diabetes the results depends on the person, how well they control their diabetes with diet and exercise and if they are compliant with the treatment plan.