November is National Diabetes Month. While nearly 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, one in four do not know they have it. National Diabetes Month raises awareness on the symptoms, risks, and the different types of diabetes. Even if you do not have diabetes, it is important to be educated on the disease, so you are able to look for symptoms, help prevent diabetes, and educate others.
Type 1, Type 2, Gestational Diabetes, and Pre-Diabetic
There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. There is also a term called pre-diabetic. Pre-diabetic refers to the period before developing diabetes. This is when high blood pressure is present, but no other symptoms are present.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where little to no insulin is produced in your pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is genetic and are usually found in children and teenagers. A few symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include increased thirst, constant hunger, weight-loss, blurred vision, and fatigue.
Type 2 diabetes is when the body is still able to produce insulin, however, it is not used properly. Type 2 diabetes can be genetic but is more commonly developed over time. Type 2 is usually found in adults and elders who experience obesity and inactivity. Some symptoms found with Type 2 diabetes are fatigue, increased thirst and urination, and frequent wounds that take time to heal. Sometimes, a Type 2 diabetic can be asymptomatic.
Gestational diabetes is when a pregnant woman has high blood sugar levels. Once giving birth, the blood sugar levels are usually stabilized. However, because the blood sugar levels were once already high for a period, there is a 60% chance a woman with gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes.
How do I help prevent diabetes?
Unfortunately, since Type 1 is hereditary, and your body just simply does not produce enough insulin, this is not preventable. However, Type 2 however is preventable. This can be done simply by eating a healthy and balanced diet, having an appropriate body weight for your height and age, and exercising roughly 30 minutes a day. While Type 2 is not entirely preventable, these precautions will help take steps in the right direction towards a healthy life.