Understanding the Differences in the Types of Diabetes

You’re probably familiar with diabetes, a common and chronic condition that impairs your body’s ability to produce insulin. There are three different kinds of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, all of which require different treatments.

Our team of doctors at Family Health Center of Bastrop in Bastrop and Smithville, Texas specializes in developing long-term treatment plans for every type of diabetes in patients of all ages. Understand the key differences between the different types of diabetes and the most common forms of treatment.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that impacts how your body creates energy from food. Typically, your body regulates your blood sugars through the hormone insulin.

When you develop diabetes, your body either doesn’t properly produce or use insulin. Diabetes is manageable with medical supervision and treatment, but without medical intervention, it can cause serious complications like kidney failure, blindness, and neuropathy.

The types of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes are the three most common types of diabetes. You can also be diagnosed with pre-diabetes before developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

When you have type 1 diabetes, your body is completely unable to produce insulin. Most often, you develop type 1 diabetes at a young age and receive a diagnosis as a child or adolescent.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a reaction in your immune system and is not possible to prevent. If you have type 1 diabetes, you can stay healthy by taking daily insulin.

Type 2 diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, your body does produce insulin, but it’s not able to use or process it properly. Type 2 diabetes usually develops slowly in adulthood, over the course of several years.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, but it’s also often preventable by making healthy lifestyle changes, like weight loss, eating a balanced, healthy diet, and becoming more active. After you’ve developed type 2 diabetes, you can manage it through lifestyle changes, medication, and monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Gestational diabetes

You can only get gestational diabetes if you are pregnant. In some women, the hormones from pregnancy cause the blockage of insulin, causing temporary insulin resistance. 

If you develop gestational diabetes, a healthy eating and exercise plan for pregnancy will keep you and your baby healthy. Gestational diabetes almost always goes away after you give birth, but your odds of developing type 2 diabetes later on increase.

Pre-diabetes

You have pre-diabetes when your blood sugar levels are elevated, but not high enough to diagnose you with type 2 diabetes. You can avoid or significantly delay developing type 2 diabetes while you’re pre-diabetic by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Getting treatment for diabetes

Symptoms of every type of diabetes include increased hunger and thirst, dry mouth, urinating more frequently, fatigue, and blurry vision. Type 2 diabetes, in particular, can develop slowly, so let our team at Family Health Center of Bastrop know if you’re experiencing even mild symptoms of diabetes.

If our doctors diagnose you with diabetes, they’ll develop a long-term care management program to treat your diabetes. Their recommended treatment depends on your type of diabetes and current lifestyle.

If you’re concerned you might have diabetes or are seeking help managing the condition, our team at Family Health Center of Bastrop can help. Make an appointment today by booking online or calling your preferred practice location.

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