Best Resources for Diabetes

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Get Healthy with Sherry LLC

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Patient Advocacy Initiative

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Embrace Your Journey Health and Wellness Coaching LLC

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Kim Shackleford

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Strong, Pure, & Simple

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Riverbirch Holistic Health

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Diabetes is a chronic health condition caused by a lack, or insufficiency of insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas in response to blood glucose. Insulin enables glucose to enter the muscles and other cells in order to produce energy. When glucose can’t get into the cells to be used, it builds up in the bloodstream, resulting in high blood glucose levels (diabetes). There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (during pregnancy). Type 1 (T1) is an autoimmune disease that prevents the body from making insulin. It is not preventable, and is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. The risk factors are genetics, environmental factors and having another autoimmune condition. Symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, and increased hunger. Treatment involves daily insulin injections or infusion through an insulin pump. Poorly managed T1 can damage the blood vessels, which can cause blindness, retinopathy, heart disease, foot amputation and early death. In Type 2 (T2), the body is resistant to insulin or the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin. Risk factors include age (over 40 years), genetics, overweight/obese, inadequate physical exercise, previous gestational diabetes. T2 symptoms include thirst and frequent urination, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, fatigue, neuropathy, and blurry vision. T2 can be prevented and managed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy food, and being physically active. Insulin injections may be required over time. Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. It usually goes away after birth but increases the risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Risk factors include: age (over 25 years), genetics, being overweight before pregnancy, and race. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can cause birthing overly large babies (requiring a C-section), postpartum low blood sugar, or death of the baby, preeclampsia (high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, swollen legs and feet), and subsequent gestational diabetes. Other rarer types of diabetes exist, such as type 3c. Type 3c diabetes occurs when the pancreas is damaged and stops producing enough insulin for the body. It usually occurs when another illness or condition affects the pancreas such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, haemochromatosis. Symptoms include unexplained weight loss, stomach pain, fatigue, diarrhea, fatty or oily stools and hypoglycemia. Metformin or insulin are the medications currently used to treat type 3c.