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diabetes type two


Our bodies naturally take in sugar from food and burn it for energy. However, an estimated 1 in 10 Americans have trouble with the process, which can result in a higher than normal glucose level—causing a form of diabetes.

While Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes have similar symptoms, there is a lot of variation when it comes to causes, risk factors, severity, and treatment options.

Prevention and proper treatment for diabetes starts with getting proper education on the topic and by scheduling a screening with your Horizon Health Care provider.

Type 1 Diabetes Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your pancreas does not make enough insulin, or none at all. While it usually appears at a younger age, it can develop at any time in a person’s life.

Genetics can increase the chances of someone developing Type 1 diabetes, and, unlike Type 2 diabetes, there is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes. 

The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are the same as Type 2 diabetes, although the onset can be more rapid and severe, causing a medical emergency.

Common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:

  • Feeling very tired or lethargic
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Yeast infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your local primary care provider to get tested for diabetes.

Although no cure for Type 1 diabetes exists, there are a lot of effective treatments for managing your glucose levels, giving you the ability to live a normal, active, and fulfilling lifestyle.

The main method of treating diabetes is through insulin management and blood sugar monitoring. This can be through injections, pumps, pens and other devices.

Lifestyle changes can also be effective at limiting the effects of Type 1 diabetes. Make sure to follow your provider’s recommendations for managing your condition, and find more information about home care below.

Type 2 Diabetes Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your body has higher than normal glucose levels (hyperglycemia). However, it is different in how it develops and in its preventability.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by your body not responding to insulin, where it instead grows resistant to it. While there are genetic factors that can increase your chances for developing Type 2 diabetes, your health history and current health conditions are better key indicators of your risk.

Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life and is preventable through a healthy lifestyle consisting of:

  • Healthy nutrition
  • An active lifestyle
  • Wellness exams and screenings with your provider

People who have Type 2 diabetes typically had prediabetes beforehand. Prediabetes is a reversible condition where the glucose levels are determined to be high, but not in the typical range of diabetics. Symptoms for both prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes are similar to Type 1 diabetes, which can include:

  • Feeling very tired or lethargic
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Yeast infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

If you want to learn more about preventing and treating diabetes, contact your local primary care provider to schedule an appointment.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in about 4% of pregnancies and usually goes away with the birth of a child. Symptoms are similar to those found in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Your provider will recommend testing for gestational diabetes during the second or third trimester of your pregnancy, depending on your risk factors and family history.

 Home Care for Diabetes

Treatment for diabetes is the most effective when it is combined with a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Below are some home habits we recommend to help manage your diabetes:

  • Check your blood sugar (glucose) once a day, or as instructed by your provider
  • Take all medications as prescribed by your provider
  • Avoid smoking or tobacco products
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Try losing weight (when recommended)
  • Be aware of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and know how to treat it
  • Get your eyes checked on a regular basis
  • Get a wellness exam every year
  • Get your blood and urine tested
  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly
  • Wear a necklace or bracelet that says you have diabetes
  • Check your feet every night for cuts, sores, blisters, and redness
  • Tell your provider if you have problems or worsening symptoms

Get Help Right Away If:

  • You have trouble keeping your blood sugar in the target range
  • You have problems with your medications
  • You are sick and not getting better after 24 hours
  • You have a sore or wound that is not healing
  • You have vision problems or changes
  • You have a fever
Diabetes Option 2

Frequently Asked Questions About the Types of Diabetes

What Are The Symptoms of Diabetes?

  • Feeling very tired or lethargic
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Extreme hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Yeast infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

What Are the Different Types of Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes

  • About 10% of affected people have this type
  • Usually occurs before the age of 30
  • Usually occurs in thin to normal weight people
  • Is not preventable

Type 2 Diabetes

  • About 90% of affected people have this type
  • Usually occurs after the age of 45
  • Usually occurs in overweight or obese people
  • More common in people with risk factors like:
    • A family history of diabetes
    • A history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol and triglycerides

Gestational Diabetes

  • Occurs in about 4% of pregnancies
  • Usually goes away after the baby is born
  • More likely to occur in women who:
    • Have a family history of diabetes
    • Have previously had gestational diabetes
    • Are obese
    • Over 25 years old

What Is Pre-Diabetes?

Prediabetes means your blood glucose is higher than normal, but lower than the diabetic range. It also means you are at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

If you are told you have prediabetes, have your blood glucose checked again in 1-2 years and ask your provider for advice on improving your health through lifestyle changes.

What Is The Treatment for Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes?

Treatment is aimed at keeping blood glucose near normal levels at all times for type 1 and 2 diabetes. Learning how to manage this yourself is important in treating diabetes. Depending on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment will include one or more of the following:

  • Monitoring your blood glucose.
  • Meal planning.
  • Exercise.
  • Oral medicine (pills) or insulin.

Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

With Type 1 diabetes, prevention is unlikely because the triggers that cause it are not yet known. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes like:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising

Is There a Cure for Diabetes?

No, there is currently no cure for diabetes, but research is ongoing. Despite this, diabetes can be treated and controlled.

Should I Be Tested for Diabetes?

If you are at least 45 years old, you should be tested for diabetes. You should be tested again every 3 years. If you are 45 and overweight, you may want to get tested more often. If you are younger than 45, overweight, and have one or more of the following risk factors, you should be tested as well:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • High blood pressure

Horizon Health Care providers can schedule an appointment with you to test for Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes.

What Are Some Other Sources for Information on Diabetes?

The following organizations may help in your search for more information on diabetes:

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