Insulin makes it possible for glucose to enter our cells. As such, our pancreas produces an adequate quantity of insulin during digestion. This would then enable glucose present in our blood to enter our cells which then decreases our blood-glucose levels. When our body does not produce enough insulin, our blood-glucose levels remain high and this is known as hyperglycemia. This would then result in excess blood-glucose which is passed out of our bodies in urine and that the cells are not getting glucose for essential energy and growth requirements. Doctors are able to determine if a person has a normal metabolism, prediabetes or diabetes by using three possible tests. The tests that can be carried out are the A1C test, the FPG (fasting plasma glucose test) and the OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test).
So what are the different types of diabetes?
In Type 1 Diabetes, our body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes or early on-set diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not as common as type 2 diabetes and happens often in early adulthood or teenage years.
With Type 2 Diabetes, our body does not produce enough insulin or the cells develop insulin resistant. With the lack of insulin, glucose remains in our blood leading to high glucose-blood levels. This would then eventually lead to serious health problems.
You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood glucose is higher than normal level but not high enough to be termed as diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a greater risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
Pregnant women can have gestational diabetes. This is when some women have very high levels of glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of diabetes. Most patients with gestational diabetes are able to control their diabetes with exercise and diet. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can raise the risk of complications during childbirth. Scientists from the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University found that women whose diets before pregnancy were high in animal fat and cholesterol had a higher risk for gestational diabetes as compared to their counterparts whose diets were low in cholesterol and animal fats.
Over a period of time, with the accumulated glucose in your blood, it will cause considerable health issues to you. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves and more. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke, hypertension and even the need to amputate a certain limb.
Blood tests can show if you have diabetes or how you are managing your diabetes. Exercise, weight control, controlled meal plan, monitoring of blood glucose level and prescribed medication daily help with your diabetes.