Diabetes is a chronic illness, affecting over 100 million people throughout the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Since it affects people of all ages, family doctors at Kenai, AK-based MediCenter provide care services for the disease, with an emphasis on preventative care when possible. In case you or a loved one might be affected by the disease, the three main types are explained below, along with their usual treatment:
Family Doctors Explain 3 Types of Diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes
All types of diabetes affect the body’s production of insulin. When working properly, the pancreas releases an adequate amount of insulin to allow the body to convert sugar into energy. In diabetic individuals, the pancreas fails to release any. In Type 1 diabetes (which tends to develop during childhood, though sometimes later in life), the reason for this is that the immune system attacks the pancreas, allowing sugar to build up in the blood without being used as energy. Treatment consists of giving the individual insulin during meal times, often with a needle injection, but sometimes with an insulin pump.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Most people with diabetes have Type 2, which tends to develop later in life. Rather than affecting the pancreas itself, this form of the disease describes when more sugar builds up in someone’s bloodstream than they’re able to produce insulin for. Treatment for this type typically begins with exercise and limited sugar intake. In advanced cases, family doctors may prescribe insulin injections.
3. Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes is uncommon, affecting approximately two to 10 percent of pregnant women. It describes when a pregnant person fails to use insulin as effectively, or doesn’t produce enough, and is usually a temporary condition. Hormonal changes typically cause the onset of gestational diabetes, and treatment usually consists of healthy meal planning and exercise during pregnancy. Half of people with this form of the disease end up developing Type 2 diabetes following their pregnancy.
If diabetes affects you or your family, you’ll get the care you need from MediCenter. The Kenai, AK-based facility provides a comprehensive array of health services, including women’s health care, urgent care, and gastroenterology services. To schedule an appointment or make an inquiry, call (907) 283-9118. Details about their diabetes education and nutrition services is available online.