There are two types of diabetes mellitus; type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 is inherited and results in the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with this type of diabetes must take injections of insulin for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, they will have too much glucose in their blood, which can lead to complications. The purpose of insulin is to help the cells take up glucose from the blood to use for fuel.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition affecting 1 in 10 people in the US. In type 2 diabetes, the body has difficulty producing insulin or the body doesn’t respond to its effects well, sometimes called insulin resistance. Obesity is the most common reason for type 2 diabetes.
Why is diabetes dangerous?
Diabetes is a serious condition and can cause permanent complications, but for most people, diabetes is a manageable condition. With the correct medication and lifestyle changes, you can live with diabetes. If your blood sugar is not kept under control, it can result in a range of conditions, some of which are more dangerous than others. These include loss of vision, neuropathy, foot ulcers, circulatory problems, kidney disease, heart disease, and others.
There is no permanent cure for type 2 diabetes, but there are medications that work very well. Unlike type 1 that requires injections, type 2 is managed with oral pills, for the most part. Eating healthier, losing weight, and increasing exercise can help control diabetes. Both types of diabetes require regular testing of the blood sugar levels until they can be kept in the optimal range, generally under 120. An occasional elevated level is not a big concern. It’s the chronically elevated glucose levels that do the most damage.