Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses food for energy. Because the body’s cells cannot use food properly, the blood glucose (sugar) becomes high. The blood glucose becomes high either because the body lacks insulin or because it cannot use the insulin it makes. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells for energy.
Type 1: Diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults. It’s always treated with insulin. A healthy diet that controls starches and sugars (carbohydrates) is important. Regular exercise can reduce risk for heart disease and other complications.
Symptoms include sudden weight loss, excessive thirst and hunger, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, poor growth, and lack of energy.
Type 2 : Diabetes usually occurs in older adults. However, it is now becoming more common in children and teens. Those with type 2 diabetes often are overweight and unfit. They cannot make enough insulin to keep their blood glucose in control. A meal plan for weight control and regular exercise is the first treatment tried. If diet and exercise are not enough, medicine may be required.
Various diabetes pills can be used. If diabetes pills don’t work, insulin shots may be needed. The doctor decides what medicine works best.
Symptoms for type 2 diabetes usually are not obvious. In fact, people vary from merely feeling tired to having symptoms similar to type 1 diabetes. If you have diabetes in the family, have your blood glucose checked yearly by the doctor. Finding diabetes early is the best way to prevent serious problems later.
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