Diabetes is a chronic disease the affects how the body uses the insulin it naturally produces when digesting food.
After you eat food, it’s turned into sugar. Sugar is the fuel your cells need to function, but it can only enter them with the help of insulin produced by the pancreas when you eat.
Insulin lets sugar into the cells, but in patients with diabetes, this process happens inefficiently or not at all, resulting in two common types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that develops when the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are attacked by the body’s immune system, preventing the pancreas from producing enough insulin. When this occurs, the sugars converted from food can’t enter your body’s cells to give them the fuel they need. Insulin must be given to replace what your body doesn’t make on its own.
Unlike individuals with Type 1 diabetes, people with Type 2 diabetes experience what known as insulin resistance. Their bodies produce some insulin, but the cells don’t use it correctly. The pancreas works to produce more insulin but can’t keep up, leading to sugar building up in the blood.
Blood sugar refers to the sugar, or glucose, that enters the bloodstream after you consume food.
Your body creates insulin to regulate the amount of sugar present in the blood to ensure there’s not too much or too little. Inefficient use of insulin in people with diabetes causes blood sugar to become elevated or to dip too low, leading to a wide range of symptoms.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurry vision, fatigue, and nausea; symptoms of low blood sugar include irritability, confusion, and even seizures.
Diabetes treatment varies depending upon the diagnosis.
Men and women with Type 1 diabetes may undergo insulin therapy that introduces insulin into the body through regular insulin injection, while individuals with Type 2 diabetes may ingest medications that help their bodies use the insulin produced by their pancreas more effectively.
Lifestyle changes that include proper diet, stress reduction, and exercise are often involved in treatment strategies.
Let the experienced physicians of Amsterdam Medical Practice help you manage your diabetes symptoms. Call to make an appointment or book online today.
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