The chronic illness ‘diabetes’ is probably not a new one in medical history. It is so common that it affected more than 402 million lives in the world in 2014. The number rose significantly from 108 million cases in 1980 to more than 500 million cases in 2015 according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the UAE account for the most diabetes cases from 18 years old to 65 years old based on the research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation. Additionally, the study also revealed that 25% of people with diabetes are women.

What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a serious condition where your body stops producing insulin resulting in an excessive level of sugar in your blood.

To understand the symptoms and how to choose the best options to treat diabetes, you must first understand the types of the disease.

Pre-diabetes

A pre-diabetes is the first condition that appears when your body starts to face the issue of misusing the insulin. Pre-diabetes also occurs when your body begins to produce less insulin.

The tricky part of pre-diabetes is that it does not have any noticeable symptoms. However, medical experts can still tell who is at high risk of getting pre-diabetes, such as a person who has a body-mass index of higher than 25 (overweight), or a person with a family history of diabetes. Additionally, other health problems may also cause complications and result in pre-diabetes such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

In most cases, pre-diabetes develop into type 2 diabetes. Once you get type 2 diabetes, symptoms may start to become more noticeable.

It is still possible to prevent pre-diabetes from developing into a full-grown type 2 diabetes. This involves serious lifestyle changes from eating healthier, doing heavy exercise, and losing weight. Additionally, medical experts may also recommend metformin, which is the only medication used to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes type 1

Diabetes type 1 typically occurs due to the error in your autoimmune system. Type 1 diabetes is usually known as juvenile-onset diabetes as it develops when you are under the age of 20 years old. It occurs when your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Typically, if you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces and stores zero levels of insulin and must rely on insulin injection.

Type 1 diabetes may lead to severe dehydration, weight loss, diabetic ketoacidosis (ketones acid buildup from the body resulting from the breakdown of the fat cells).

The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

  • Heavy thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased hunger after eating

Type 1 diabetes is not curable and can be “toned down” with the help of insulin injections that keep the blood sugar level stable.

Diabetes type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and it is also known as adult-onset diabetes. Different from type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin. However, the insulin produced is not enough, and the body is not using the insulin well.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 80% of diabetes cases in the world. Although it is curable, type 2 diabetes is still the leading cause of complications such as blindness, non-traumatic amputations, and kidney failure.

When type 1 diabetes occurs due to your body condition, type 2 diabetes occurs out of your lifestyle.

The main symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:

  • Heavy thirst
  • Blurred visions
  • Fatigue
  • Recurring infections and sores
  • Shaking
  • Trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Constant sweating despite room temperature

Gestational diabetes

Another type of diabetes that is probably heard less of is gestational diabetes. It is a type of diabetes that commonly affect pregnant women.

When you are pregnant, hormone changes can affect your body’s insulin to work properly. It is quite rare that it affects 4% of pregnancy according to WebMD.

Although gestational diabetes is temporary, it can cause long-term effects to your baby and your body. Additionally, it can also develop to type 2 diabetes as pre-diabetes does.

The symptoms of gestational diabetes are often unnoticed. That is why it is recommended for all pregnant women to get a screening test for gestational diabetes.

These are some of the effects caused by gestational diabetes:

  • High birth weight babies
  • Breathing problems for the babies
  • High blood pressure in the mother

Gestational diabetes is often treated through insulin injections, and usually, the mother’s blood sugar level returns to normal six weeks after the pregnancy.

If you want to know more about diabetes, you can consult with medical professionals through the Okadoc app.