Know the Facts Page
Diabetes in the United States is on the rise, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2017. Approximately 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes. Islet cells, which are produced in the pancreas, prohibit the body from effectively using its own insulin. To help regulate the body’s blood sugar (glucose) levels, insulin is sometimes prescribed for diabetics to provide energy to body cells and tissues. This non-production of islet cells can cause diabetes. The different types of diabetes include type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Approximately 1.5 million people suffer from type 1 Diabetes. The body is unable to produce insulin naturally for all type 1 diabetics. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. According to the Mayo Clinic, usually, the body’s own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Genetics, exposure to viruses and other environmental factors could also play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), these are common symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Bed-wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
- Extreme hunger
- Unintended weight loss
- Irritability and other mood changes
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, the body is not able to metabolize sugar (glucose) properly, which can deplete the body’s fuel source. According to the ADA, type 2 diabetes is developed when the pancreas stops producing insulin and the body becomes resistant to insulin. It is unknown why this happens, although excess weight and inactivity seem to contribute to the cause of type 2 diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop slowly. The ADA recommends these common symptoms to pay attention to:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Areas of darkened skin
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the body’s blood sugar levels are high when pre-diabetes is diagnosed but not high enough to be at the same levels of a type 2 diabetic. According to the National Diabetes Statistics, nearly half of adults aged 65 years or older had pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes, for the most part, has no signs or symptoms.
According to the ADA, similar to other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). This type of diabetes develops during pregnancy and can cause high blood sugar that can adversely affect the pregnancy and the baby’s health. There are no signs or symptoms for most women who develop gestational diabetes and it is unknown what causes pregnant women to develop it.
Here are some risk factors from the ADA for gestational diabetes:
- Age greater than 25
- Family or personal health history
- Excess weight
- Nonwhite race