Diabetes Defined

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This is a very important subject and we are looking forward to tackling different diabetes issues through our blog throughout the month!

Diabetes, whose official name is Diabetes Mellitus, is where a person finds themselves with a high blood sugar level, mainly due to one of two problems. Either the body isn’t producing enough insulin, or the cells in the body aren’t properly responding to the insulin that is being produced. Insulin is the hormone that the body produces to turn blood sugar (or glucose) into energy. With diabetes cases, not only is the body not producing energy from the glucose, but that same lack of reaction also causes the glucose to accumulate in the blood, which leads to vascular and nerve problems.

There are different types of diabetes, though the most common types are:

Type 1 diabetes: Results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, which requires the person to inject insulin for its required amounts.

Type 2 diabetes: Results from insulin resistance, which is a condition in which the body’s cells fail to use insulin properly, and is sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.

Gestational diabetes: When pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may also precede development of type 2 diabetes.

There are a couple ways to control Type 2 diabetes. One way is to follow what’s called the ‘Exchange System.’ With this system, foods are divided into six basic groups according to the calories they contain and where those particular calories come from. Foods are interchangeable within these groups and are balanced to control a person’s diabetes.

The other popular way to control your diabetes is to count the number of carbohydrate grams you consume, which then come with a prescribed number of insulin units that are provided by a registered dietitian or diabetes educator.

For more tips, check out our diabetes section here.

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