Your Most Common Questions About Diabetes Answered!

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Whether you have newly been diagnosed with diabetes or have been fighting it for a while, there may have been numerous questions and doubts that you would’ve had, or might still have! Along with the worries and queries about diabetes, there’s a lot of misinformation and myths like skinny girls can’t get diabetes or eating too many sugary foods causes it, which is why we have compiled a list of most common questions that people have about diabetes and attempted to give you most relevant information about them:

Difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes: This condition usually appears first in children and adolescents, but it can occur in older people, too. The immune system attacks the pancreatic beta cells so that they can no longer produce insulin (the hormones that move glucose from your blood to cells). There is no way to prevent or reverse type 1 diabetes, and it is often hereditary. 

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes is more likely to appear as people age, but many children are now starting to develop it too. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body is not able to use it effectively. Lifestyle factors play an important role in its development. Over time, elevated glucose levels result in damage to the body’s tissues, which can lead to diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and vision loss, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and damage to blood vessels and organs.

How will I know if I have diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes may cause no symptoms, but some signs of diabetes include frequent thirst and hunger, frequent need to urinate, abnormal weight loss, fatigue, and constantly irritated. Getting your blood-glucose level checked if you experience such symptoms will be your best bet, according to Deborah Fillman, a registered dietitian and the incoming president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators

Is diabetes hereditary?

According to the American Diabetes Association, the studies of twins have shown that genetics plays a very strong role in the development of type 2 diabetes, which ultimately proves type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1 diabetes! Yet it also depends on other environmental, geographical, and lifestyle factors that influence the development of type 2 diabetes. 

Does belly fat count as a risk factor for diabetes?

Yes. According to Dr. John Buse, director of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Diabetes Care Center, being obese or overweight in general can increase your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes by more than 90 times. The reason is, overweight bodies are just too big for their pancreases to keep up! Excess fat around your waist area is linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, though type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with obesity. The visceral fat wrapped around your internal organs can pose a problem as it increases insulin resistance more than the fat in other parts of your body.

Can gestational diabetes once cured still pose a threat? 

Unfortunately, yes. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes increases substantially — between 20% and 50%. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes every year. The odds of you getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in future depends upon other factors too like ethnicity, genetics, and weight! Losing weight after you’ve had a baby can help limit your risk of developing diabetes in future.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can leave people incapacitated with fatal consequences. But the good news is that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be managed with effective treatment, healthy lifestyle and a diabetic-friendly meal plan. So talk to your doctor about the best plan that takes care of your condition and what resources should be included to keep you healthy!