Diabetes is a type of disease which affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is the main type of sugar found in the blood. It is important because it is what is used as energy by the cells that make up your muscles and tissues as well as your brains main source of energy.
The cause of Diabetes is dependent on the type of Diabetes a person has. There are three types of Diabetes which include type 1 Diabetes, type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. All of these forms of Diabetes cause too much sugar in the blood and can lead to serious health issues.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the pancreas produces too little insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it is responsible for allowing sugar (glucose) to enter cells in the body to product energy.
The exact cause of type 1 Diabetes is unknown. Though it is thought to be caused by the immune system wrongly attacking the cells in the pancreas. These cells (which are called beta cells) make insulin but when the body destroys them, glucose can no longer be regulated by the body.
There are some Type 1 Diabetes cases that are not caused by an autoimmune response and instead caused by:
Type 1 Diabetes can occur at any age, however it most commonly occurs in children and adolescents. It is diagnosed most commonly between ages 10 and 16.
No, there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Instead, it must be monitored and treated daily with insulin injections.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common kind of Diabetes as it actually accounts for approx. 90% of all cases. With Type 2 Diabetes, the insulin that the pancreas is producing is either not enough to maintain glucose levels or it is being resisted by the body. Type 2 Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in adults and is typically diagnosed at 45 years old.
There are a few different causes of Type 2 Diabetes which include:
No, Type 2 Diabetes is not curable - though it has been shown to be reversible. Through healthy diet changes, exercise, and weight-loss, some have found they have been able to reach and maintain normal blood sugar levels without medication. While this does not mean that you're cured, it is a great way to take care of your diabetes and ensure it does not get worse.
It is important to know that Type 2 Diabetes is an ongoing disease that requires a thoughtful treatment plan that includes a healthy lifestyle. If diet and exercise are not enough to manage a persons blood sugar, then they may also need to include medications or insulin therapy into their treatment plan.
Gestational Diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy and like other types of diabetes, it affects how your body uses glucose. Gestational Diabetes causes a number of symptoms, but mainly it causes high blood sugar which can affect both your pregnancy as well as your baby's health.
Approximately 2-5% of pregnant women develop Gestational Diabetes, and this number increases to 7-9% of mothers who have markers of other risk factors such as family history, weight, inactivity, PCOS, and age.
While the exact cause of Gestational Diabetes is unknown, it is thought that excess weight prior to becoming pregnant could be a leading cause. Many hormones change in the body during pregnancy and this can make it more challenging for the body to process blood sugar. This could make your blood sugar levels rise and cause Gestational Diabetes.
New mothers will be tested for Gestational Diabetes typically between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.
If Gestational Diabetes goes untreated, it can cause a number of complications which include:
Like Type 2 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes requires a healthy treatment plan in order to get symptoms under control. This will often be done through a healthy diet and exercise plan, but sometimes oral medications or insulin injections could be required.
As of today, Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable however researchers are looking to understand what truly causes Type 1 Diabetes, what triggers it, and how we can prevent it in the future.
However, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes often are preventable. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise routine is often enough to prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.
In particular, Gestational Diabetes can be prevented by starting your pregnancy at a healthy weight and following the weight recommendations from your doctor throughout your pregnancy.
Yes, for those who have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, hair loss or hair thinning may be symptom they experience over time.
Diabetes can disrupt the hair growth process and can slow down the natural growth cycle for your hair. This means you may find you lose more hair than usual or that your hair simply doesn't get as long as it once did.
While those with Diabetes may lose their hair due to their condition, it can also be a side-effect of stress which is why its very important to incorporate some kind of de-stressing routine into your Diabetes treatment plan.
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to support your hair health:
Yes! Supplementing with the right Vitamins can absolutely help.
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