Type 1 Diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to live therefore type 1 diabetes can also be called insulin-dependent diabetes. It used to be called juvenile diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in children.
Type 1 diabetes is far less common than type 2: about 90% of people with diabetes have type 2.
Type 2 Diabetes
About 90% to 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes which makes type 2 diabetes as the common type of diabetes. Being overweight (BMI greated than 25) increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Today, though, more children around the world are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Most people with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, which means that they can produce enough insulin but their bodies do not use it correctly when their cells do not respond to insulin as they should. Insulin is needed to allow the glucose to travel from the blood stream into our cells, where it is used to create energy. There are some people with type 2 diabetes who are unable to produce enough insulin to handle the glucose in their body. This condition is called insulin deficiency.
A third kind of diabetes: Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Diabetes means your blood pressure, also called blood sugar, is too high. Your body uses glucose for energy. Too much glucose in your body is not good for you or your baby. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes in your pregnancy, you may have 50% chance to have type 2 diabetes later in your life.
Treating gestational diabetes can help both you and your baby stay healthy. You can protect your baby and yourself by taking action right away to control your blood glucose levels.
Complications of diabetes
Diabetes complications are divided into microvascular (due to damage to small blood vessels) and macrovascular (due to damage to larger blood vessels). Microvascular complications include damage to to eyes (retinopathy) leading to blindness, to kidneys (nephropathy) leading to renal failure and to nerves (neuropathy) leading to impotence and diabetic foot disorders (which include severe infections leading to amputation).
Macrovascular complications include cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and insufficiency in blood flow to legs. There is evidence from large randomised-controlled trials that good metabolic control in both type 1 and 2 diabetes can delay the onset and progression of these complications.
Tips to avoid diabetes
- Choose your carbs carefully – Having diabetes does not mean you have to cut carbs completely. Choose carbohydrates that break down in the body slowly, providing steady energy.
- Lose weight if you need to – If you are overweight, shedding just a few kilos can improve the body’s ability to use insulin. It will help lower your blood sugar and improve your blood pressure and blood fats.
- Get enough sleep – Getting too much or too little sleep can increase your appetite and cravings for high-carb foods. That can lead to weight gain, increasing your risk for complications such as heart disease. So aim for seven or eight hours of sleep a night.
- Be active: Exercises and diabetes – Exercises can help you lower your cardiovascular risks, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, and keep your weight down. Exercise also relieves stress may help you cut back on diabetes medication.
- Monitor your blood sugar daily – Checking your blood glucose levels can help avoid diabetes complications. Checking can also help you see how foods and activities affect you and if your treatment plan is working.