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Classified as a chronic health condition, diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to create insulin. To break down food, your body triggers the production and release of insulin, a natural substance that tells cells to turn glucose — the sugars found in food — into energy. If your body can’t produce enough insulin or is unable to use it well, this could lead to persistent high blood sugar, a condition known as diabetes.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes vary in risk, cause, and development. Those with Type 1 diabetes are typically diagnosed at a young age and usually as a result of an autoimmune reaction. This means that their bodies are unable to produce insulin naturally, so they therefore must take insulin daily in order to survive. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, occurs when one’s body is unable to use insulin correctly to keep blood sugar levels stable. Unlike Type 1, this condition usually develops over time and is often diagnosed in adults.
The symptoms of diabetes can include the following: frequent urination; abnormal or extreme hunger and thirst; sudden weight loss; changes in or blurred vision; fatigue; and noticeable deficiencies in the immune system, such as slow-healing sores or infections. People with Type 1 diabetes may also experience more severe symptoms in the early stages, including nausea, stomach pains, and vomiting. It is important to consult a doctor about testing your blood sugar if you experience a combination of these symptoms.
Prevention & Care
For individuals with Type 1 diabetes, there is not currently any known prevention for this condition. However, Type 2 diabetes can be avoided through healthy lifestyle choices, which include regular exercise, a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight. There is no known cure for the disease, but management of these lifestyle factors is a key aspect of treatment. Diabetes care also involves consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels along with medication and insulin therapy.