Diabetes refers to a disease the affects how your body uses blood glucose, often called blood sugar. It also affects your body’s ability to use insulin, the hormone that keeps blood glucose at healthy levels. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood and not enough insulin.
There are two different ways diabetes can affect your body. In type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the insulin in your body, and your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance.
Some signs and symptoms of type 1 and 2 diabetes are:
- increased thirst
- frequent urination
- extreme hunger
- unexplained weight loss, and
- slow-healing sores.
Treatment of diabetes will depend on the type. Blood sugar monitoring, insulin and oral medications are all options for treatment.
“But no matter what type of diabetes you have, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels are all keys to managing your diabetes,” said Robert Key, MD, family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System’s Prairie du Chien clinic.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising and eating right can reduce your risk of developing diabetes later in life.