Sugar diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels rise because of a lack of insulin within the body to break down glucose, or sugar. The lack of insulin means that sugar cannot be broken down within the body. The two types of sugar diabetes, Type I and Type II, differ in several areas. Type I diabetes usually begins during childhood. This type of diabetes occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing insulin. Patients with this type of diabetes must rely on insulin injections throughout life.
Research demonstrates that Caucasians develop this type of diabetes more than other racial groups. Also, cold weather, viruses, and diet during infancy may trigger an inherited predisposition to develop into Type I diabetes. Infants with similar risks but are breastfeed for at least six months and who begin eating solid food at a later age are less likely to develop Type I diabetes. This type of diabetes requires regular monitoring and management with medication, but when controlled, patients may lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
Type II diabetes occurs later in life. This type of diabetes becomes an issue when the pancreas can not produce enough insulin for the body, and the body’s blood sugar level begins to stay higher than it should. Symptoms that indicate Type II diabetes may be an issue include unusually frequent thirst, frequent urination, loss of weight, blurred eyesight, irritable mood, hunger increases, hands and feet becoming tingling or numb, frequent infections, wounds that will not heal, and increased unexplained fatigue.
Hereditary factors influence the development of Type II diabetes, but nutritional choices and sedentary lifestyles also affect the development of Type II diabetes. A management plan for Type II diabetes will include close monitoring of blood sugar levels, healthier eating habits, and regular exercise. Often, these changes regulate blood sugar levels effectively. When diet and exercise modifications do not control blood sugar levels, patients must take medication, either insulin with a syringe or pill medication that regulates the breakdown of glucose. This type of diabetes must be controlled to prevent serious health problems. Some research indicates that some obese patients may eliminate diabetic issues with a significant loss of weight and increased exercise.
Both types of diabetes involve a genetic and environmental component. With effective control, both types of diabetes may be managed and a healthy life continued. Diabetics need to make good food choices and exercise regularly. They should also have a blood sugar meter and a supply of testing strips and lancets to monitor their blood sugar levels. Diabetics who need medication or insulin should make sure to properly store and take their medication according to guidelines from their physicians. Should a patient’s illness be left uncontrolled, it can lead to heart attacks; stroke; kidney failure; blindness; and blood vessel disease, leading to impotence in men, amputation, or nerve damage. All of these catastrophic health issues can be prevented when patients maintain conscientious lifestyle choices, oversight of blood sugar levels, and medication when needed.