Diabetes is a serious disease affecting the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin, which is secreted into the blood to help keep glucose at the proper levels. Insulin is essential for overall health because it allows a person to assimilate the sugars and fats that they ingest. People who suffer from diabetes aren't able to process sugars and fats properly because they don't produce insulin, produce too little insulin, or have insulin that isn't working the right way.
Type I diabetes is typically diagnosed during childhood, but can occasionally be diagnosed in adults. If a person has a parent or a sibling with the disease, they have a higher chance of developing it themselves. Type I diabetes is far less common than the other type of diabetes, type II diabetes.
Type II diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes, occurring in about 9 out of every 10 cases of diabetes. Type II diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in adults. The cause of type II diabetes isn't always known, but it appears to be tied to some clear risk factors. Most people who are diagnosed with type II diabetes are overweight. It's also common for people who develop type II diabetes to have a largely sedentary lifestyle.
The symptoms of type I diabetes can start quite suddenly. They can include constant thirst, increased frequency of urination, blurry vision, and unexplained weight loss. Type II diabetes may not show symptoms for a long time, but symptoms to watch for can include higher frequency of infections, slow healing cuts or wounds, chronic fatigue, constant thirst, more frequent urination, and blurry vision.
The treatment for diabetes starts with lifestyle changes in most cases. Weight loss for overweight patients, a healthy eating plan, a regular exercise plan, and cessation of smoking are all helpful. Type I diabetes is also managed with regular self-administered insulin shots. Type II diabetes may require oral medication or insulin in some cases.
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