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Understanding How Diabetes Starts

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Do you know how to recognize concerning changes in your health before diabetes sets in? Diabetes is a long-term chronic illness that impacts the way your body converts food into energy. This condition results in higher than normal levels of blood sugar (also known as glucose).

Types of Diabetes

The group of diseases categorized within diabetes includes type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes: Chronic health condition in which insulin cells in the pancreas are damaged. Of those who have diabetes, up to 10% have Type 1. Although a diagnosis of this condition can happen at any point, it most often occurs in children, teens, and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes: Chronic health condition that affects how the body controls blood sugar. Out of all individuals with diabetes, up to 95% are diagnosed with Type 2, which generally affects older or middle-aged adults.

The key differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are that type 1 is a genetic health condition commonly diagnosed in the early stages of life, while type 2 develops over an extended period of time and is associated with an individual’s lifestyle habits.

Gestational diabetes: A type of diabetes that occurs in women who are pregnant, which typically disappears after giving birth. This form of diabetes may increase the chances of having type 2 diabetes later on. The mother’s baby also has a higher risk of experiencing obesity in childhood and could develop type 2 diabetes in the future.

Prediabetes: This stage happens when blood sugar is higher than standard levels, although it is not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. 96 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, yet more than 8 out of 10 people don’t realize they have it yet. This health condition can also increase the chances of experiencing other diseases including type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Catch the warning signs of diabetes early on

Symptoms that can be associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can include: 

  • Blurred vision 
  • Numb or tingling feet and hands 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Extreme hunger 
  • Dry or itchy skin 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Wounds that heal over an extended period of time 
  • Constant urination

Additional symptoms of diabetes can include:

Type 1 diabetes – Symptoms can develop fast, over the span of several months or even weeks. Other symptoms experienced include vomiting or stomach pains, nausea, yeast infections, or urinary tract infections.

Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms develop at a much slower pace and can take several years to progress.

Gestational diabetes – Symptoms are not generally noticeable, yet it’s standard practice for an obstetrician to test for this form of diabetes between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please consult with your primary care provider to determine if blood sugar testing is needed.

Is diabetes preventable?

While there is no way to avoid type 1 diabetes, there are preventative measures you can practice to decrease the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Being more mindful in your health practices such as diet, exercise, and weight management can make a significant difference in your overall wellness and prevention. Still, even a person with the healthiest lifestyle can’t put a stop to hereditary diseases. This is why it’s vital to prioritize regular visits with your primary care provider to stay a step ahead of your health. Routine checkups can give your provider the opportunity to catch any concerning health changes before they progress rapidly, which is especially crucial for controlling diabetes. To learn more about your risk of diabetes or if you’d like to receive blood sugar testing, please schedule an appointment by texting your preferred location below:   

  • West Plano Medical Village: Text (469) 382-4891  
  • Independence Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3548  
  • McKinney Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3717  
  • Frisco Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3415

Regardless of the date published, no content on this website should ever be used as a replacement for direct medical advice from your primary care provider or another qualified clinician.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.