Diabetes occurs when the body cannot make or use its own insulin, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the body convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy.
The Difference Between Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.
Type 1 Diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune reaction in the body that stops the pancreas from making insulin. It’s typically diagnosed at a young age, and symptoms often develop quickly. Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, and people living with the condition must take insulin every day.
Type 2 Diabetes
Around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2, according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. It occurs when the body has trouble using insulin and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. It’s most often diagnosed in adults and develops over time. Type 2 diabetes is typically preventable or delayed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before. It typically disappears after the baby is born, but women who develop gestational diabetes are at a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the CDC.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may not experience symptoms, but it’s still important to be aware of the warning signs, according to the American Heart Association. See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Blurry Vision
- Increased or extreme thirst
- Increased appetite
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Sores that are slow to heal or do not heal
People who have Type 1 diabetes may also experience nausea, vomiting or stomach pain, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The only way to know if you have diabetes is to get tested by your primary care provider (PCP). Some treatment options include glucose monitoring, medications, injections and lifestyle changes. Talk to your PCP to find out which option is right for you.