Diabetes: How to get tested, what to look for

I recently wrote about one of the affects of diabetes: the peril of your feet. Diabetes can affect your feet, and not taking care of it can result in sores on your feet, or even worse, amputation.

But the big question on most people’s minds is: what is the difference between Type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a disorder where your body does not make enough insulin (a naturally produced substance in your body that helps digest sugar).  The body turns on the pancreas (the creator of insulin) and attacks it, resulting in a insulin deficiency. This type of diabetes is usually discovered earlier in life. It can be linked to genetics. The is no treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Insulin injections are generally used to manage the disease.

Type 2 diabetes is when your pancreas is still creating insulin, just not as efficiently. High blood sugar is when the body cannot push the sugar out of the bloodstream. Type 2 is generally an adult onset. It can be managed by diet without insulin injections. Adult onset diabetes is generally related to obesity and lack of exercise.

How do you know if you have diabetes?

Symptoms for Type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, extremely increased thirst, increased hunger and fatigue. The same symptoms also indicate Type 2 diabetes, including being overweight; however, those with type 2 diabetes may never show any symptoms.

How can you check for diabetes?

Get yourself a health insurance quote (put your ZIP code in the box above to find many different rates in your city) and see a doctor. Diabetes is not something that should be left to chance. Without properly working insulin, the result could be death.

Your doctor might check your blood sugar with a prick of your finger. But it is becoming more popular and more accurate to conduct an A1C test. An A1C test examines your blood sugar over a period of three months. The problem with a single finger prick is that many things could affect it, causing it to be unnaturally high or low. It is only one sample and might not indicate what is your “normal.” If your A1C number is too high, your doctor might put you on insulin or adjust your diet or exercise.

For type 2 diabetes, insulin is not used as  a treatment, however, there are many other pills that can safely lower your blood sugar and A1C. Type 2 diabetes can get worse over time, and you might have to start taking insulin injections if your pills are not helping your pancreas create enough insulin.

Physical activity is proven to help those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. First off, exercise is good for everyone. It helps your body get healthier, which can help fight off any diseases. It also helps oxygen get into your blood which in turn, will help the sugar move out of the blood into your muscles.

Exercise can also help eliminate diabetes in some people who have type 2. Being overweight can often be the cause; eliminating it would eliminate the diabetes.