Diabetes Occurs When the Body is Unable to Produce any or Enough Insulin. Diabetes is a disease that affects more than 380 million people, and that number is increasing rapidly. Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce any or enough insulin, which acts as a “key” to open cells in the body and allow glucose to enter and be used as energy. As a result of sugars staying locked in the cells, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. Many people are affected by generally two main types of diabetes, and those are:
Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes is considered to be the most severe form. It typically occurs in children and teenagers, and is referred to as “juvenile diabetes”, but it can develop at any age. Type 1 diabetes is a result of the pancreas losing its ability to produce insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that produce the insulin, and once the cells are destroyed, they cannot make insulin any longer.
This type of diabetes cannot be prevented, and it is unknown what causes this disease. Some people may be predisposed to diabetes based on their genes, although, biological makeup is often not enough to trigger type 1 diabetes.
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes but can be treated using the following:
- Daily insulin injections
- An insulin pump to control blood glucose levels
- Urinating frequently
- Abnormally thirsty
- Weight loss
- Bedwetting (children)
Occurs When the Body is Not Producing Enough Insulin to Maintain a Normal Glucose Level. Type 2, also called “adult on-set” or non-insulin dependent diabetes, occurs when the body is simply not using insulin properly or when it is not producing enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Exactly why this happens is unknown, but genes and/or environmental factors can play a role.
Type 2 is also a chronic disease, but there are ways to better manage the condition. Treatment of type 2 diabetes often consists of:
- Weight management
- Eating healthier
If diet and exercise are not effective enough to maintain control of your diabetes, your doctor my prescribe diabetes medication or recommend insulin therapy.
The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often similar to the symptoms of type 1, which include:
- Urinating frequently
- Abnormal thirst
- Blurred vision
- Tingling/numbness in hands or feet