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What is Diabetes?

Continuous Glucose Monitors

What is Diabetes?

Our bodies need energy to function effectively. Running, dancing, and even thinking all require energy. Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects your body’s ability to turn food into energy.

When we eat, most of the food is broken down into sugar (also called glucose), so it can be released into the bloodstream. In diabetics, the process of breaking down glucose is hindered due to impaired insulin production or resistance. As a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and preventing cells from receiving the energy they need for proper functioning.

As more sugar (glucose) is released into your bloodstream, your blood sugar levels go up. This signals your pancreas to release Insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have Diabetes, your body either:

  • Doesn’t make enough insulin
  • It can’t use the Insulin it makes as well as it should

This means that too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, this can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.​  Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death and is a growing problem in the United States, with diabetes diagnoses more than doubling in the last 20 years and costing more than $327 billion each year. 

The escalating diabetes epidemic highlights the pressing necessity to focus on raising awareness, implementing preventive measures, and developing efficient treatment methods. By educating the public on the risk factors, symptoms, and management of diabetes, we can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health. Preventive efforts, such as promoting healthy lifestyles and early screening, can significantly reduce the onset of this chronic condition. Moreover, investing in research and development of innovative treatment options will facilitate better outcomes for those already affected by diabetes.

There are 3 main types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, resulting in little or no insulin production. This form of diabetes, often diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, requires lifelong management through insulin therapy, monitoring of blood sugar levels, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Type 2 Diabetes:

With Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by the body’s inability to effectively use insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. Often associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyles, this form of diabetes can be managed through lifestyle modifications, oral medications, and in some cases, insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, causing elevated blood sugar levels in the mother. It is typically diagnosed through screening tests and can usually be managed with diet and exercise, although some cases may require medication to ensure the health of both mother and baby.Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. During pregnancy, the body makes more hormones and these changes can cause the body’s cells to use insulin less effectively (insulin resistance). Every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes.

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