Diabetes, sometimes called diabetes mellitus, is a group of three diseases where the body does not produce enough insulin, or any at all. When your body does not sufficiently use the insulin that is produced, or your body does not have any insulin to use, it causes trouble in your body.
Basically, diabetic symptoms lead to elevated blood sugar levels because the body is unable to get sugar from the blood into the cells. Here, learn about the three types of diabetes, what happens to you if you have one of the diseases, and what doctors say about treatment.
When you eat, your body uses the glucose to provide energy. However, a lack of insulin from diabetes can lead to an excessive amount of sugar building up in your blood. Over time, diabetes can cause many other health problems to develop. The three main types of diabetes are known as:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gestational diabetes (pregnancy diabetes)
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is higher than it should be, but not quite at the level to be considered diabetes. It has symptoms similar to diabetes and can be an early warning sign of diabetes potentially developing.
How common are the different types of diabetes?
Over 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, with millions more being diagnosed each year. A majority of these people, about 90 to 95 percent, have type 2 diabetes and about 5 to 10 percent have type 1 diabetes.
People living with diabetes will likely experience a few general symptoms caused by the excess glucose in their blood. Depending on the type of diabetes, there may be additional symptoms. The main symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Excessive hunger or thirst
- Dry, itchy skin
- Blurry vision
- Slow-healing wounds
These symptoms can be present even before diabetes has developed and are often early signs of diabetes. Chronic complications due to poorly controlled blood sugar levels are more serious and can include:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Retinopathy (eye problems)
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Nephropathy (kidney damage)
- Skin conditions