Asistel in English
What is diabetes and what are the types of diabetes?
Diabetes is an illness that can cause serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.
There are three principal types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin or produces very little. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to convert food into energy. People with this type of diabetes need to take insulin so that cells will get the glucose they need to function. Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in people less than 25 years old.
In Type 2 diabetes, insulin production is insufficient or the body develops resistance to insulin. Obesity and lack of exercise increase the risk of developing this type of diabetes. More than 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2. It is especially prevalent among Hispanics or members of other ethnic groups. Treatment can include medication and, in 40 percent of cases, insulin.
Another less common form of diabetes is known as gestational diabetes. In the last 20 years, the rate of gestational diabetes has grown dramatically, from affecting 3 percent of pregnant women to 9 percent. Gestational diabetes is also more prevalent in members of ethnic minority groups. Although this type of diabetes generally disappears a few months after giving birth, half of the women who have had gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in their lives.
Diabetes is not a contagious illness and it isn’t caused by an accident. A family history of diabetes is a major risk factor. The risk for developing the disease also rises with overweight, the primary factor in the growth in the incidence of diabetes in recent years.
So far, there is no cure for diabetes. But it is possible to control it and prevent complications by having regular medical exams for early detection, using insulin and medications properly, and eating moderately and exercising regularly.
This information is meant only to educate and inform. Do not take or discontinue any action based on this information. It is important to consult your doctor.