November is National Diabetes Month, where we seek to bring attention to
the more than 30 million U.S. adults who have diabetes and the one in
four individuals who do not know they have it. The Center for Healthy
Living Diabetes Team would like to share information about diabetes and
pre-diabetes to recognize those who live with or support someone with
diabetes and to create an awareness of those at risk of pre-diabetes and
type 2 diabetes.
There are 3 main types of diabetes:
Type 1, Type 2, and
Type 1 diabetes is less common than Type 2 diabetes and accounts for five percent
of the people who have diabetes. It is considered an autoimmune disease
which results in the body’s inability to make insulin. Some scientists
believe that Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition where the cells of
the pancreas are attacked and then stop functioning. Others believe the
disease may be caused by a virus that prompt the immune system to begin
attacking the pancreas. Because of this people, with Type 1 diabetes require
insulin for life. Currently, there is not a way to prevent Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 accounts for 90 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes. The body is
not making enough insulin or the body is not using the insulin properly,
which is referred to as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is treated
with lifestyle changes and oral medications or insulin.
The third main type of diabetes is
gestational diabetes, which is a condition where women are diagnosed in the second trimester
of pregnancy. About four percent of all pregnant women will develop gestational
diabetes. Unlike Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes typically
disappears after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes is a risk factor
for Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Pre-diabetes is a serious health condition which affects 86 million people.
With pre-diabetes, blood sugars are higher than normal, but not high enough
to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, the cells
in your body don’t respond normally to insulin. Your pancreas makes
more insulin trying to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas
can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for
prediabetes—and type 2 diabetes down the road.