Authored by Rodney Southern in Diseases
Published on 04-04-2009
It is estimated that over 23 million Americans have diabetes. There are 3 different types of diabetes; type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Diabetes is a lifelong disease and if not managed can lead to extreme health complications. If you know someone that has diabetes, or are at risk yourself it is important to know the symptoms and causes.
Type 1 diabetes is unlike the other two types as it is not preventable. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is often detected in childhood. In fact type 1 diabetes was at one point more commonly known as “juvenile diabetes”. Individuals with type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a day to day basis in order to survive. The reason that type 1 diabetics must take insulin is due to the autoimmune nature of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body views the cells responsible for producing insulin as the enemy henceforth destroying them. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include an increase in urination, being excessively hungry or thirsty, fatigue, and an unexplainable weight loss or gain.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, unlike type 1 can be prevented with proper diet and lifestyle changes. Unlike type 1 diabetes in which the body does not produce insulin, type 2 diabetic do produce insulin. However, in type 2 diabetes the body simply does not utilize the insulin properly. Type 2 diabetics are commonly referred to as insulin-resistant. As well as being preventable, type 2 diabetes tends to occur later in life as a result of poor diet and sedimentary lifestyles. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are the same as type 1 and can include frequent yeast infections, and the occurrence of sweet smelling breath. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include family history of diabetes, and being overweight or obese.
Gestational diabetes only occurs in pregnant women. This type of diabetes affects about 4% of all annual pregnancies. Gestational diabetes is caused by hormonal changes that naturally occur in pregnancy. These hormonal changes cause the symptoms of diabetes to present themselves.
Complications caused by diabetes include heart attacks, stroke, possibility of amputation, and blindness. Understanding the symptoms and causes of diabetes will allow you to make more intelligent choices for your diabetes. If you are not diabetic, knowing what the risk factors are can prevent the onset of symptoms. If you are at risk for diabetes and are currently experiencing any of the symptoms of diabetes consult your physician. Not being diagnosed could cost you your sight, your limbs, or worse yet your life.