Lifestyle Disease Management

Understanding the types of Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a serious life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood (insulin) is too high as the body is not able to use it properly. If left untreated, high blood glucose levels can cause serious health complications for the patient. It is a chronic, metabolic disorder that causes excess blood sugar percentage for a prolonged period of time. In the most severe cases, insulin shots can be taken to maintain the blood sugar level, by preventing spikes, especially after meals.

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According to the American Diabetes Association, there are three main types of Diabetes:

1. Type 1 DM

This type of diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce adequate insulin. This form is also referred as “Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”.

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2. Type 2 DM

This type begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease occurs due to lack of insulin it is also referred as “Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus” (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”. The primary cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.

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3. Gestational diabetes

This is the third main form of the disease and it is seen mainly in pregnant women who, without a previous history of diabetes, develop a high blood glucose level.

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The vast majority of patients with Type 2 diabetes have a redundant stage called prediabetes. Their blood glucose levels shoot up to much higher than normal, but not high enough to merit a diabetes diagnosis. The cells in the body become resistant to insulin. Studies have indicated that even at the prediabetes stage, some damage to the circulatory system and the heart may already have occurred.

Prevention and treatment of diabetes mellitus involve a healthy diet, physical exercise, avoiding intake of tobacco and maintaining normal body weight. Blood pressure control and proper foot care are also important for people with the disease.

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Gestational diabetes takes place after the birth of a baby. The majority of gestational diabetes patients can control their diabetes with exercise and diet. The patients with gestational diabetes should take some kind of blood-glucose-controlling medications.

Type 1 diabetes can be managed with insulin injections while Type 2 diabetes can be treated with medications of insulin. Weight loss surgery, for those with obesity, is an effective measure in those with type 2 DM.

While there’s no cure for diabetes, the attacks can be treated with medication and ayurvedic mixes. More importantly, family and caregivers can ensure that patients are able to live active, healthy lifestyles with the proper care and nurturing. From sticking to diets and regular physical activity (not too rigorous) patients can lead full productive lives.