What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of body’s ability to process sugars. This is due to problems with hormone insulin.
What are the types of Diabetes?
There are 2 types of diabetes:
Type 1 – the body stops producing insulin
Type 2 – the body no longer responds to the insulin made by the pancreas
What causes diabetes?
Type 1 – Antibodies in the body bind to and destroy the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
Type 2 – High levels of insulin over time lead to insulin resistance. This results from an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and increased body fat. This type is more driven by genetics and family history.
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
Diagnosis of Diabetes
There are many ways to diagnose diabetes
- Fasting blood sugar equal to or greater than 126
- Glucose greater than 200 with symptoms
- Hemoglobin A1c greater than 6.5
- Glucose greater than 200 that is after a glucose load
Type 1 – this is due to a lack of insulin so the only therapy is insulin replacement
Type 2 – The most important is lifestyle changes with diet and exercise. After that, there are many more treatment options for type 2. These options include oral tablets, insulin, and other injectable medications.
Good control of blood sugars can prevent complications. Poor control for long periods can lead to many complications.
- Vision loss
- Poor blood flow in legs
- Foot sores and infections
- Kidney disease and dialysis
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a severe condition with elevated sugars and abnormal electrolytes
Diabetes in Children
Children are more likely to have Type 1 diabetes and to need treatment with insulin. Type 2 can occur in children with family history of type 2 diabetes and increased body weight.
Diabetes in Pregnancy
We test all women in pregnancy for gestational diabetes . Elevated sugars can affect the fetus’s lung and other development. Insulin is the only approved diabetes medication in pregnancy.
Does sugar cause diabetes?
The body is not able to process sugar in diabetes. Foods high in sugar contain high calories. Higher calories lead to excess body fat which predispose to diabetes.
Can you prevent diabetes?
Type 2 diabests can be prevented with regular exercise, a healthy diet low in processed foods, and a healthy body weight.
Can you eat sugar with diabetes?
Yes, it is fine in small amounts, but you should avoid most processed foods. Most of the carbohydrates or sugars in the diet should come from fruits and vegetables.
Can people with normal weight get diabetes?
Yes, it is not all weight related because many things affect insulin sensitivity.
Can diabetes lead to death?
Yes, DKA is a medical emergency requiring ICU admission to correct. Long term complications including poor response to infections can lead to severe complications. This includes death.
Does Stress cause diabetes?
Poor sleep and high levels of certain stress hormones can increase glucose levels. Stress itself is not a cause of diabetes.