Who Gets Diabetes?

Garry Crystal

Diabetes is a serious disease of the blood characterized by excessive glucose levels. This can happen when the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin converts the blood’s glucose into energy within other body cells. Anyone can develop this condition, but some people are more susceptible to it than others.

Overweight people are at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
Overweight people are at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is known as insulin dependent diabetes. With this type, the body produces only a small amount of insulin or none at all.

It is critical for those with diabetes to check their blood sugar regularly.
It is critical for those with diabetes to check their blood sugar regularly.

Treatment for type 1 is required for the rest of the affected person’s life. Glucose levels must be regularly monitored in order to check for any complications. It usually appears during the teenage years or before the age of 40.

For people with Type 1 diabetes, their body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
For people with Type 1 diabetes, their body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. It typically appears after the age of 40. It may occur because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because the insulin that is produced is not used properly. Type 2 often affects obese people.

About 1 in 20 women also develop type 2 during pregnancy. Their bodies have very high levels of blood glucose, and there may not be enough insulin produced to absorb the glucose. The condition usually disappears once the baby is born. Some women who develop diabetes during pregnancy have recurrences in later life.

The symptoms of both types of diabetes are very similar. Sufferers frequently feel thirsty and urinate a lot. They may also feel very lethargic and suffer from excessive weight loss. Genital itching and infections such as thrush may result from excessive sugar levels in the urine. Excessive urination can also damage the kidneys and may, over time, result in kidney failure.

The symptoms of type 1 may occur very quickly, lasting only a few weeks or even days. If the glucose levels in the blood are too high or too low, then a hyperglycemic attack can occur. This may happen if a diabetic takes a dose of insulin that is either too high or too low. If not treated, the extreme result of a hyperglycemic attack is death.

Some people with type 2 have no symptoms at all. However, treatment is still necessary in order to avoid further complications. The symptoms can last for weeks or months.

High risk factors for this condition include being overweight and failing to take regular exercise or to stick to a healthy diet. Type 2 diabetes may also be hereditary. People of Asian, Afro-Caribbean, and Middle Eastern descent are also at a higher risk for this condition, as are those with high blood cholesterol levels.

Approximately 1 in 20 women develop type 2 diabetes during pregnancy.
Approximately 1 in 20 women develop type 2 diabetes during pregnancy.

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Discussion Comments

anon285615

I have type 2 diabetes and I'm taking Metformin.I t has been under control for a long time until recently. It has been higher than usual.

Since I have been doing so well, my doctor lowered my dose of Metformin. What could be causing this?

golf07

I have a nephew who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 6 years old. He has two other brothers who do not have diabetes, and it is very hard for him to follow the correct diet. It takes ongoing discipline and can be especially hard for children when everyone around them is eating candy and drinking soda.

This disease is certainly life changing for many people. For some it can be avoided if they cut out a lot of foods high in sugar and keep their weight down. For others, when they are diagnosed at a young age, there is no way it could be avoided.

Even with all the newer types of medications that are available, it still takes a lot of effort and constant work to keep their blood sugar stable and under control.

myharley

Although there are higher risk factors for certain people, anybody can get diabetes. I have an aunt who has Type1 diabetes, and there is no other person in her family who has the disease. She was quite shocked when she went to the doctor and was told she had diabetes.

She has to monitor her blood sugar continually throughout the day and especially before and after eating anything.

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