What is diabetes?
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes (most often in children) and type 2 diabetes (so called Adult Onset Diabetes). People who have type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin. People who have type 2 diabetes may have insulin but their bodies do not respond normally to it. This is known as insulin resistance. As the disease progresses, people with type 2 diabetes may begin to produce less insulin as well.
Insulin is a hormone that is made in our pancreas. Normally, insulin helps control the level of our blood glucose (blood sugar) and helps the blood sugar get into our cells to be used for energy. When we have insulin resistance, however, the blood sugar builds up and cannot get into our cells to provide fuel we need. As the level of blood sugar rises, the pancreas produces more insulin, making the situation worse. We eat and much of our food is converted into the simple sugar, glucose. Once in our blood stream, the sugar signals the need for more insulin to our pancreas and the viscous cycle begins again. Until our blood sugars get so high that we become seriously ill, called ketoacidosis.
What are some of the risk factors?
According to the CDC, people who have type 1 diabetes have an immune reaction where their body is attacking itself by mistake. These individuals may have a family history of being diabetic or it can sometimes relate to their age. Many people with type 1 diabetes develop the disease as children.
People are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if:
they are prediabetic
are over the age of 45
have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
are not physically active at least 3 times per week
have previously had gestational diabetes
have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
or are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native, Pacific Islanders, or Asian Americans.
While those with type 1 are more at risk for insulin related complications, people with type 2 diabetes are also more at risk for heart disease or heart attack, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage, slower healing after injury, hearing loss, skin conditions, sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s disease.
How do you manage diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that must be diagnosed by a health care provider. Depending on the type of diabetes and the severity, your doctor may prescribe a treatment plan that requires you to use insulin. This is often the case with type 1 diabetes. However, if you are diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, your physician may instead recommend some lifestyle changes, which might include more physical activity, weight loss, self-care and a nutritious meal plan.
At dooable health, we can help you with your type 2 diabetes management by working alongside your health care team to encourage and support you with a diet full of healthy foods that you enjoy. We can also help you design an exercise program that will be fun and easy to maintain with your lifestyle. Unlike fitness trainers or other online nutrition solutions, dooable health believes in taking a holistic approach to focusing on your well-being as a whole. You will never get a one-size fits all approach to your health and wellness. You will enjoy a program that is built around your needs and your vision of what you want your future to be. Importantly, you will have access to your one-on-one health coach throughout the process. We’re not just trying to change the numbers on your scale, we are here to help you improve your life! Our program may also be beneficial for those with type 1 diabetes. Just ensure that you follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider while participating.