Diabetes is a diverse group of disorders that share the primary symptom of hyperglycemia – defective insulin production, insulin action, or both. According to registered dietitian, Mary Roberts-Curran, MA, RDN, CHES, there are three primary types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by an absolute deficiency of insulin due to the destruction of pancreatic B-cells, resulting in cells’ inability to use glucose for energy. Either the pancreas is not making insulin or not making enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes accounts for between five and ten percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. This condition can occur at any age, but most frequently develops in children and adolescents. Various factors may contribute to type 1, including genetics and some viruses.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affects up to 95% of all persons with the disease. This condition is associated with modifiable risk factors, including obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. The onset of diabetes can often be delayed or prevented by limiting and avoiding these risk factors. Type 2 diabetes is often not diagnosed until complications appear.
Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy in women. This condition occurs around the 24th week of pregnancy when the body cannot make enough insulin. Because gestational diabetes doesn’t usually show symptoms, doctors conduct routine tests.
Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, dry skin, and numb or tingling hands or feet.
If you live with diabetes, maintain a healthy diet, a physical activity plan, and your diabetes supplies. Test your blood sugar regularly and learn to recognize the signs of low and high blood sugar.
If you have questions about diabetes or diabetes treatment, please contact TPMG Nutrition Services in Chesapeake at (757) 232-8768.
About Mary Roberts-Curran, MA, RDN, CHES
Mary Roberts-Curran, MA, RDN, CHES is a registered dietitian in Chesapeake at TPMG Nutrition Services. She utilized her years of education to learn about all aspects of health, including wellness, nutrition, and fitness, and works to educate patients on the true meaning of “healthy living.” She finds satisfaction in treating diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, weight loss, and weight management.