Diabetes mellitus is a blanket term for a group of diseases that result in high sugar (glucose) levels in the bloodstream and urine. This increase in sugar levels is caused because the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin (a hormone) is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, thus causing the increase in glucose levels.
There are three major types of diabetes mellitus: diabetes type 1, diabetes type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood. It is an autoimmune disease that caused by the body attacking its own pancreas with antibodies. The damaged caused to the pancreas causes the body to be unable to produce insulin.
There are many issues that come with type 1 diabetes. This includes damage to the tiny blood vessels behind your eyes, nerve damage, and kidney damage. There’s also an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Treatment of type 1 diabetes involves the injection of insulin just below the fatty tissue under your skin. You’ll also regularly test and track your glucose levels, and get regular A1C tests to estimate levels over the last three months.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States. It accounts for about 95% of diabetes cases in adults. Usually referred to as adult onset diabetes, this form results in the body not producing enough insulin and ultimately being insulin resistant. Those who are obese are at a particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 negatively impacts your blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys. Management of this form is typically accomplished through diet and exercise. Sadly, as the disease progresses, medical treatment is typically required. Your physician can help determine what would be the best treatment option for you.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. Essentially, pregnancy leads to insulin resistance. This form of diabetes is temporary, and is usually diagnosed in middle to late pregnancy. Because mom and baby share everything, it is crucial this form of diabetes is controlled so the baby can grow to be healthy. Anywhere from 2 to 10 percent of women suffer from gestational diabetes, with about 10 percent of those women developing type 2 diabetes down the road.
If left untreated, the baby can suffer from high birth weight, breathing issues, obesity after birth, and diabetes later in life. Risks to the mother include kidney, nerve, eye, and heart damage, along with c-section to deliver an abnormally large baby.
Treatment for gestational diabetes includes healthy eating, exercise, insulin, and meal planning to ensure your diet is made up of the proper ratio of nutrients.
If you’re looking for a physician with experience in treating diabetes, contact us. We can help you create a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and ensure you live a healthy life down the road.