The billboard is trying to get our young people to lead a more active lifestyle. With technology growing, people tend to be less active, leading people to be more overweight. While overeating alone can’t cause diabetes, genetics coupled with poor lifestyle choices can. Let’s review some of the different types of diabetes and diabetic symptoms, as well as treatment options for those suffering from this disease.
Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies. Our brain needs it to function, but too high or too low a level of glucose can be extremely harmful. Insulin is also a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies; it is created by the pancreas, specifically in a region known as the Islets of Langerhans. When we eat something that increases our blood sugar, the pancreas produces insulin, which brings our blood sugar down to a safe level. Blood sugar levels can be checked using a portable blood glucose monitor. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines normal blood sugar levels in adults before a meal as 70-130 mg/dl. When your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 130 before meals, your doctor may run a series of tests to determine whether or not you have diabetes.
Diabetes is broken down into three separate types: pre-diabetes, Type I and Type II. Pre-diabetes is a newer term and refers to someone with consistent blood sugar levels in the higher range of normal. Type I diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is the least common and solely genetic. Type I diabetes occurs when there is no insulin production at all, causing elevated blood sugar levels, also known as “hyperglycemia.” Type II diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes, is the most common and can come about from genetics or lifestyle factors. In Type II diabetes, there is a decreased amount of insulin being produced, or your body can’t absorb the insulin correctly.
Some symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst or hunger, weight loss, fatigue, frequent infections, blurred vision, slow healing wounds and numbness in extremities.
Common treatments for diabetes are diet and exercise, oral medication and subcutaneous insulin injections. Type I diabetics require insulin injections or a pump which delivers insulin. Type II diabetics can mostly control their blood sugar levels with oral medications, but may require insulin injections if the disease progresses. Pre-diabetes is sometimes controlled with diet and exercise, while some patients are using oral medications to combat hyperglycemia.
Thankfully, it is becoming much easier for diabetics to enjoy a normal lifestyle. Hopefully one day soon, doctors will be able to cure this disease. Until then, the best thing we can do is be aware of our bodies and how they operate and let your doctor know if you experience any symptoms described here. I hope this article has been helpful to those of you who are reading.
Justin Glaze is an LPN and contributing columnist for the Walker County Messenger. He can be reached at 678-988-1011 or email@example.com.