November is American Diabetes Month, and if you know anything about diabetes, you know you don’t want it. Diabetes is a disease where either the body cannot produce insulin correctly or cannot use it properly, and there are four types of diabetes. They are
- Type 1 Diabetes: This type of diabetes (previously known as juvenile diabetes) results because the body cannot produce insulin. It affects 5 to 10 percent of those with diabetes and increases your chances of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney damage, or nerve damage.
- Type 2 Diabetes: This type of diabetes is caused because the body cannot use insulin properly, which is known as insulin resistance diabetes. This is the most common form of diabetes, and it also increases your chances of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney damage, or nerve damage.
- Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes occurs sometimes when a woman is pregnant and affects 4 percent of all pregnant women. It often goes away after pregnancy, but for some women it does not. Women who have gestation diabetes have a greater chance of ending up with type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes.
- Pre-diabetes: This is indicated when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. It can lead to type 2 diabetes, but if you take action, you can prevent type 2 diabetes from ever developing. Moreover, you should know having pre-diabetes may mean you’re already causing damage to your heart and circulatory system, but you can stop these complications if you do the right things.
According to the American Diabetes Association, “there are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 23.6 million with diabetes.” You may be wondering if so many people are affected, what causes pre-diabetes and diabetes?
Pre-diabetes often leads to type 2 diabetes and is affected by these factors:
- High Blood Pressure. You are at increased risk for pre-diabetes if you have high blood pressure.
- Low “Good” Cholesterol. If your good cholesterol is 35 milligrams per deciliter or less, you have an increased risk for pre-diabetes.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are caused by different things, but they also have some things in common. Those commonalities are
- Predisposition to the disease
- Something triggers that predisposition
Type 1 diabetes has these factors:
- Development occurs more frequently in winter than in summer
- Sufferers were not usually breastfed
- Usually diagnosed in young children or young adults
Type 2 diabetes has these factors:
- Obesity. When you’re overweight you have more fatty tissue and that makes your cells more resistant to insulin. Moreover, if you’re apple-shaped, rather than pear-shaped, you have a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Predisposed. If a sibling or a parent has type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of also having type 2 diabetes. Certain ethnic groups—African Americans, Native American Indians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Latinos—also have a great chance of developing type 2 diabetes than Whites or Europeans.
- Sedentary. If you’re inactive and don’t exercise you chances of being overweight increase, and a lack of exercise impedes your body’s insulin and glucose use, which further helps to develop type 2 diabetes.
Although pre-diabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t have to, and you can make sure it doesn’t by watching your blood pressure, increasing your good cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight. To learn more about how you can achieve these goals read Stop Pre-diabetes Before It Strikes. If you are interested in determining your risk for diabetes use this Diabetes Risk Calculator.