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Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in our country. In fact, 1.9 million Americans will be diagnosed this year with this chronic, lifelong disease, which is caused by an increase of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream.
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Type 1 diabetes means your pancreas can no longer produce insulin to control your sugar levels. It’s usually diagnosed in childhood but can be found later on in life. Daily insulin injections are needed to control glucose levels for Type 1, which are done by the individual with an insulin pen or pump.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and usually, occurs in adulthood. In Type 2 the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose normal or the body doesn’t respond well enough to the insulin it is making. Being overweight and not getting enough exercise are primary causes of Type 2 diabetes and it is increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S. Type 2 develops slowly and some people will have no symptoms at all.
With Gestational Diabetes (Type 3), increased blood glucose can develop at any time during pregnancy. Women who develop this type are at increased risk for Type 2 and cardiovascular disease later in life. The good news is that having gestational diabetes does not mean that you had diabetes before pregnancy or that it will continue after you give birth. But, of course, it’s still important to see a physician.
Across the board, the best way to avoid, treat and cure diabetes is learning and applying this knowledge! Utilizing healthcare providers and online resources, such as www.diabetes.org, will keep you armed to fight against diabetes.