(BlackDoctor.org) — What is diabetes? Essentially, it’s a disorder where your body has problems producing or effectively using insulin, which can, in turn, cause many other mild to severe health problems. There are several different causes of insulin problems – managing your diabetes will depend on which type you have.
Type 1 Diabetes: Little To No Insulin
With type 1 diabetes, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, your body does not produce insulin or produces very little. Type 1 diabetes is known as an autoimmune disease because it occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children and young adults and accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetes cases in the United States. Symptoms may include thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, and fatigue.
People who have type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections daily to make up for what their pancreas can’t produce.
Type 2 Diabetes: Insulin Resistance
Type 2 diabetes, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. While most people who develop type 2 diabetes are older, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise.
The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is largely unknown, but the disease tends to develop in people who are obese and physically inactive. People who have a family history of diabetes or a personal history of gestational diabetes are also at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, certain groups, particularly African Americans, have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes usually develop gradually, and are similar to symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes usually includes dietary changes, regular physical activity, and oral diabetes medications to help control blood glucose. If left untreated, serious health conditions such as heart disease or stroke can develop.