Diabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.
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Diabetes - Animation
Diabetes is on the rise worldwide, and is a serious, lifelong disease that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and lasting nerve, eye and foot problems. Let's talk about diabetes and the difference between the three types of diabetes. So, what exactly is diabetes and where does it come from?An organ in your body called the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that controls the levels of your blood sugar. When you have too little insulin in your body, or when insulin doesn't work right in your body, you can have diabetes, the condition where you have abnormally high glucose or sugar levels in your blood. Normally when you eat food, glucose enters your bloodstream. Glucose is your body's source of fuel. Your pancreas makes insulin to move glucose from your bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where your body turns it into energy. People with diabetes have too much blood sugar because their body cannot move glucose into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be changed into and stored for energy. There are three major types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes happens when the body makes little or no insulin. It usually is diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults. But about 80% of people with diabetes have what's called Type 2 diabetes. This disease often occurs in middle adulthood, but young adults, teens, and now even children are now being diagnosed with it linked to high obesity rates. In Type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond to insulin appropriately. Another type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. It's when high blood sugar develops during pregnancy in a woman who had not had diabetes beforehand. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. But, still pay attention. These women are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes over the next 5 years without a change in lifestyle. If you doctor suspects you have diabetes, you will probably have a hemoglobin A1c test. This is an average of your blood sugar levels over 3 months. You have pre-diabetes if your A1c is 5. 7 to 6. 4%. Anything at 6. 5% or higher indicates you have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a wake up call to focus on diet and exercise to try to control your blood sugar and prevent problems. If you do not control your blood sugar, you could develop eye problems, have problems with sores and infections in your feet, have high blood pressure and cholesterol problems, and have kidney, heart, and problems with other essential organs. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day, usually injected under the skin using a needle. Some people may be able to use a pump that delivers insulin to their body all the time. People with Type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their blood sugar through diet and exercise. But if not, they will need to take one or more drugs to lower their blood sugar levels. The good news is, people with any type of diabetes, who maintain good control over their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, have a lower risk of kidney disease, eye disease, nervous system problems, heart attack, and stroke, and can live, a long and healthy life.
Type 2 diabetes - Animation
Over the past several years, our collective diets have grown unhealthier, and our waistlines have expanded as a result. Doing so, we're putting ourselves at risk for a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is serious stuff, if it's not treated, it can lead to some pretty dangerous complications, including nerve and kidney damage. The good news is you can often avoid type 2 diabetes and its complications. You need sugar, or glucose, to keep your body running. Normally when you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which moves the sugar from food out of your blood and into your cells, where it can either be used for energy, or stored. But if you have type 2 diabetes, this system doesn't work as well as it should, in part because your cells have a harder time responding to insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in your blood. Why is that a problem? Well, that excess sugar can damage organs like your eyes and kidneys, and it can lead to complications like nerve damage and heart disease. Diabetes complications could leave you blind, lead to amputation of your toes or feet, and maybe even kill you. You can help prevent diabetes complications by keeping good control over your blood sugar, but first you need to know that you have type 2 diabetes. Sometimes it can be hard to tell because you may not have any symptoms at first. Being very thirsty, tired, or having to go to the bathroom a lot may be pretty good clues that you might have developed diabetes. Blurry vision might also be a clue. Your doctor can confirm it with a blood test. Once you know that you have diabetes, it's your job to keep it under control. You'll need to check your blood sugar at home and talk to your doctor about how to lower it with diet, exercise, and possibly medicine. To avoid serious complications, you'll need to see not just one doctor, but a team of health care professionals. That includes a podiatrist to check your feet, an ophthalmologist to check your eyes, and a dentist for cleanings and exams. Because type 2 diabetes increases your risk for heart disease, you'll also need to see your primary care doctor regularly to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides checked, and to make sure your kidneys are working as well as they should. Like any other disease, it's better to avoid getting type 2 diabetes then to have to treat it. If you're at risk because you're overweight or over age 45, ask your doctor for a blood sugar test at your next check-up. If you have already developed diabetes, you can help avoid complications by staying on top of your health, checking your blood sugars, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeing all of your specialists on schedule. Make your doctor a partner in your care. Call right away if you have any problems, like numbness or tingling in your legs or feet, blurry vision, extreme thirst, weakness, or fatigue.
Type 1 diabetes - Animation
Your body is a fuel-burning machine, and the main fuel it burns is sugar, also known as glucose. In people who have diabetes, though, the body doesn't effectively store and use sugar for energy. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood, where it can lead to serious problems like blindness and nerve damage. Let's talk about a kind of diabetes known as type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by obesity, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means your immune system, which normally protects your body, turns against you. In this case, the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that moves sugar into cells. There it's stored until your body needs it for energy. Without enough insulin, sugar can't move into your cells, so it builds up in your bloodstream. How do you know that you have Type 1 diabetes?The first signs are usually that you feel very thirsty or tired. You may lose weight without having planned to, or feel numbness or tingling in your hands or feet. If your blood sugar has already gotten very high, your body can't use sugar for energy, so it uses fat instead. This leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Your breath will smell fruity, like you've just eaten a fruit salad. Your breathing will get faster, and you may feel sick to your stomach. Your doctor will test your blood sugar level to find out if you have type 1 diabetes. The test may be done when you haven't eaten anything, this is called a fasting blood glucose test. When you have type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin to replace what your body isn't making. Insulin is only available as an injection, so you'll have to learn how to give yourself a shot each day or wear a pump that delivers insulin to your body continuously. Managing diabetes also means watching your diet so you don't get too much or too little sugar at once. You also need to check your blood sugar levels regularly, and keep track of them over time. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease, but it's one you can control, and live with. The key to staying healthy with diabetes is partnering with your team of doctors. Test your blood sugar at home, and have your doctor check your A1c levels at least every 3 to 6 months. This test shows how well you're controlling your blood sugar over time. Also visit your doctor for regular cholesterol, blood pressure, and kidney tests. See an eye doctor at least once a year, and a dentist every 6 months. Also check your feet every day for skin sores that you might not be able to feel because of nerve damage. And see a podiatrist or your regular doctor for a foot exam twice a year. If you're having any symptoms like fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision, foot sores, numbness or tingling, or a fast heartbeat, call your doctor right away.