We all know that too many people suffer from diabetes, which can be a killer disease, but many of us do not know the answer to that elementary question, ‘What is diabetes?’ So let us try to answer that question.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is, to put it very plainly, characterized by high levels of blood sugar. So what is diabetes caused by? This is caused by the levels of insulin, when it becomes too low. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Now that we have answered, very generally, the question ‘What is diabetes,’ let us go on to the first type of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Insulin, which our body needs to control the levels of sugar in our blood, is created by the beta cells in the pancreas, or, more specifically, in the Islets of Langerhans, which is a part of the pancreas. In Type 1 diabetes, these cells die because the autoimmune system attacks it. This is the kind of diabetes that you see in children, though it is seen in adults, as well.
Careful monitoring of the blood sugar levels and replacement of insulin is the treatment for type 1 diabetes. While the treatment cannot be stopped – it only controls and regulates, it does not cure – patients with type 1 diabetes can live a normal and long life as long as they take the necessary precautions.
Type 2 diabetes
The next thing that stems from the question ‘What is diabetes’ is; what Type 2 diabetes is. This combines resistance to insulin to lack of secretion of insulin, which is harder to handle than Type 1 diabetes.
For this, first, the resistance must be decreased or eliminated, which can be done through proper diet and exercise, and then the same treatment as for Type 1 diabetes can be administered.
Gestational diabetes is fairly common and is the sort of diabetes that affects women during pregnancy. Quite often, it might simply go away once the baby is born, but it needs to be regulated carefully during the pregnancy to avoid complications.
Diabetes is one of those diseases that can affect your life, and can creep up on you when you have no idea that it is happening. People who have a family history of diabetes need to be extra careful, but it can hit you without warning, too, and it can be hard to realize that you have it at all.