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What You Need to Know About Diabetes

Learn about the different types of diabetes, the symptoms of each and the treatments that are available.

Diabetes is a medical condition that causes the body to mismanage the level of sugar in the blood, which leads to some serious health problems. 

Diabetes Basics

Your body burns sugar for fuel. Your blood uses insulin, a kind of hormone, to carry the sugar into your body’s cells. When your body can’t make or use insulin properly, the sugar you get from food builds up in your blood instead of going into your cells. This starves your cells of the fuel they need.

Type I Diabetes

Juvenile diabetes, or Type 1 diabetes, is mostly diagnosed in children and sometimes young adults. This kind of diabetes is, in part, genetic. With this type of diabetes, your body’s immune system malfunctions, attacking the cells that make insulin. This creates an insulin shortage, leaving the cells of your body in a perpetually starved state.

Fortunately, this kind of diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise. You will need to carefully monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure for the rest of your life, so regular doctor appointments are necessary. You will also need to monitor your blood sugar level on a daily basis. It can easily be done with equipment you can use yourself at home. You might also require regular insulin injections.

Pay close attention to any feelings of thirst or a frequent urge to urinate. You should also pay close attention to unexplained weight loss or fatigue, excessive hunger and blurred vision. These can be signs that your insulin levels are bad.

Type II Diabetes

Adult-onset diabetes, or Type II diabetes, most often develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children have been developing it too. Being overweight increases your chance of developing this kind of diabetes, as does a lack of exercise and eating too much junk food. With Type II diabetes your body can’t use its insulin very well. Even though your body produces enough of it, your cells don’t get a lot of benefit from it.

You can completely eliminate the symptoms of Type II diabetes with regular exercise and eating a healthy diet free of junk food. This program of healthy living can completely eliminate the need for insulin injections.

Symptoms include frequent thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, the need to urinate frequently, frequent infections and slow, ineffective healing. Experiencing any of these symptoms is a warning sign that your blood sugar levels are bad.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes. Type I diabetes can be managed with the right medications while Type II diabetes can be effectively put into remission with diet and exercise. Managing your diabetes is something you will be doing for the rest of your life, but with a little discipline and effort, you can feel healthy and fit.  

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