A Guide to Diabetes

    2022-05-3005/30/22   
Disease  Exercise  Nutrition  

Do you know that over 37.3 million Americans have diabetes? That's over 11% of the population. But, what is even more alarming is that over 96 million Americans suffer from a condition called pre-diabetes and are not even aware of it.

But, don't worry because diabetes can be managed. So, read on to find out what is diabetes, what are its symptoms, and how you can treat it.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the way your body uses glucose. Diabetes impacts the hormone insulin and how it regulates blood sugar levels.

The primary role of insulin is to move sugar from your blood to your cells so it can be either stored or used for energy. If you suffer from diabetes, your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or you can't use the produced insulin effectively. Your cells also may stop responding to insulin and the sugar stays in your bloodstream.

Glucose (sugar) is a source of energy for your muscles and tissues as well as your brain. Therefore, your body needs glucose to function properly. However, excess glucose is a potential risk because it can lead to hyperglycemia, which is a high level of sugar in your blood.

Diabetes is a long-lasting condition and presents health risks to many organs such as kidneys, eyes, heart, and nerves.

Although there isn't a cure for diabetes, there are ways to manage it either through a healthy lifestyle or medication.

Types of Diabetes

There are three main types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. In addition, there is a fourth type of diabetes called pre-diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. This causes your pancreas to stop making insulin.

It is believed that around 5-10% of the population suffers from Type 1 diabetes. It usually affects children, teenagers, and young adults. This type of diabetes develops very quickly and there is no cure for it.

If you suffer from this type of diabetes, you need to monitor your blood sugar and take insulin every day.

Although there is more and more research done on the prevention of diabetes, at the moment no one knows what causes Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not respond to the produced insulin, or the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.

Because the blood sugar can't be kept at normal levels, it stays in the bloodstream. This causes a high level of glucose in the body.

Type 2 diabetes affects around 90-95% of people who have diabetes. It usually occurs in adults, however, it is also found in children, teenagers, and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes develops over many years, and you may not see any symptoms for a long time. Checking your blood sugar regularly is a good measure to catch early signs of diabetes.

Contrary to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is preventable. The condition can be delayed through a number of healthy lifestyle changes, such as being active, losing weight, and healthy diet.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is diabetes while pregnant. A pregnant woman may experience high blood glucose levels during her pregnancy.

This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. However, it poses a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. There is also the potential risk that the baby may suffer from obesity and is more likely to also develop type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes

Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood glucose levels are much higher than normal, yet not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

It is estimated that around 38% of Americans may suffer from prediabetes. The biggest danger is that many are unaware that they may have it.

Pre-diabetes can lead to developing Type 2 diabetes as well as increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, pre-diabetes can be reversed.

What Are the Symptoms?

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes develop differently, however, they have some common symptoms. They are all caused by high blood sugar. Usually, women and men experience the same diabetes symptoms.

The most common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Unexplained weight fluctuation, such as weight loss for type 1, or weight gain for type 2
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Frequent infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow-healing cuts
  • Itchy skin or skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability

Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat when there is not enough insulin )

What Are the Causes?

There are different causes according to the type. Unfortunately, there is no clear cause of why you may develop Type 1 diabetes. Research shows that diet and lifestyle are not factors here. Genetics and the environment may lead to Type 1 diabetes, but more studies need to be done.

In addition, many people with Type 1 diabetes do not have a family history of this disease.

Type 2 diabetes can be caused by your family history.  However, the main causes of Type 2 diabetes are poor diet, high in processed sugars, lack of physical activity, and being overweight or even obese.

Gestational diabetes occurs when hormones responsible to provide nutrition to the baby, interfere with the effectiveness of the mother's insulin production. If the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, and the high levels lead to the development of gestational diabetes

How to Prevent Diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes you need to learn how to manage the symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately but with Type 1 diabetes you need to regulate your blood sugar through insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is more manageable.

However, a healthy lifestyle change will be the first port of call in either condition. Healthy lifestyle changes include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, and losing weight especially if you are overweight or obese
  • Eating healthy food, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake
  • Being active and engaging in physical activity daily
  • Medication
  • Alternative diabetic supplements
  • Keeping doctor appointments and educating yourself

Above all, you need to be aware of your condition and how to treat it.

Manage Your Diabetes

This guide showed you what is diabetes and what are the types of diabetes. Although there are no known causes for Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be a result of family history or poor lifestyle choices.

Diabetes can be managed through monitoring your weight, eating healthy foods, and staying active as well as through traditional medication and alternative diabetic supplements.

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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We are what we eat. Studies from reputable health organizations suggest that 40-60% of Americans are living with one or more chronic diseases, which negatively impacts their quality of life, reduces employment productivity, and drives up health care costs.1 Lifestyle choices, in particular, the foods we choose to put into our bodies, are making us sick. However, we do have choices regarding our nutrition.

Learn practical tips for healthy and affordable grocery shopping and consider using a list similar to the recommended natural, whole foods grocery shopping list provided to get you off to a good start!


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Our modern diets contain foods our bodies react badly to. We eat on the go and have an abundance of convenience and processed foods at our fingertips.

Using a rotation diet is a great way to find out which foods you are intolerant to. It can also be a great way to lose some excess pounds.


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  • Blog Post

    What is Diabetes?

    Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the way your body uses glucose. Diabetes impacts the hormone insulin and how it regulates blood sugar levels.

    The primary role of insulin is to move sugar from your blood to your cells so it can be either stored or used for energy. If you suffer from diabetes, your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or you can't use the produced insulin effectively. Your cells also may stop responding to insulin and the sugar stays in your bloodstream.

    Glucose (sugar) is a source of energy for your muscles and tissues as well as your brain. Therefore, your body needs glucose to function properly. However, excess glucose is a potential risk because it can lead to hyperglycemia, which is a high level of sugar in your blood.

    Diabetes is a long-lasting condition and presents health risks to many organs such as kidneys, eyes, heart, and nerves.

    Although there isn't a cure for diabetes, there are ways to manage it either through a healthy lifestyle or medication.

    Types of Diabetes

    There are three main types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. In addition, there is a fourth type of diabetes called pre-diabetes.

    Type 1 Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. This causes your pancreas to stop making insulin.

    It is believed that around 5-10% of the population suffers from Type 1 diabetes. It usually affects children, teenagers, and young adults. This type of diabetes develops very quickly and there is no cure for it.

    If you suffer from this type of diabetes, you need to monitor your blood sugar and take insulin every day.

    Although there is more and more research done on the prevention of diabetes, at the moment no one knows what causes Type 1 diabetes.

    Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not respond to the produced insulin, or the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.

    Because the blood sugar can't be kept at normal levels, it stays in the bloodstream. This causes a high level of glucose in the body.

    Type 2 diabetes affects around 90-95% of people who have diabetes. It usually occurs in adults, however, it is also found in children, teenagers, and young adults.

    Type 2 diabetes develops over many years, and you may not see any symptoms for a long time. Checking your blood sugar regularly is a good measure to catch early signs of diabetes.

    Contrary to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is preventable. The condition can be delayed through a number of healthy lifestyle changes, such as being active, losing weight, and healthy diet.

    Gestational Diabetes

    Gestational Diabetes is diabetes while pregnant. A pregnant woman may experience high blood glucose levels during her pregnancy.

    This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. However, it poses a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. There is also the potential risk that the baby may suffer from obesity and is more likely to also develop type 2 diabetes.

    Pre-diabetes

    Pre-diabetes occurs when your blood glucose levels are much higher than normal, yet not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

    It is estimated that around 38% of Americans may suffer from prediabetes. The biggest danger is that many are unaware that they may have it.

    Pre-diabetes can lead to developing Type 2 diabetes as well as increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, pre-diabetes can be reversed.

    What Are the Symptoms?

    Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes develop differently, however, they have some common symptoms. They are all caused by high blood sugar. Usually, women and men experience the same diabetes symptoms.

    The most common symptoms of diabetes are:

    • Feeling tired and lethargic
    • Unexplained weight fluctuation, such as weight loss for type 1, or weight gain for type 2
    • Excessive thirst or hunger
    • Frequent infections
    • Frequent urination
    • Slow-healing cuts
    • Itchy skin or skin infections
    • Blurred vision
    • Irritability

    Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat when there is not enough insulin )

    What Are the Causes?

    There are different causes according to the type. Unfortunately, there is no clear cause of why you may develop Type 1 diabetes. Research shows that diet and lifestyle are not factors here. Genetics and the environment may lead to Type 1 diabetes, but more studies need to be done.

    In addition, many people with Type 1 diabetes do not have a family history of this disease.

    Type 2 diabetes can be caused by your family history.  However, the main causes of Type 2 diabetes are poor diet, high in processed sugars, lack of physical activity, and being overweight or even obese.

    Gestational diabetes occurs when hormones responsible to provide nutrition to the baby, interfere with the effectiveness of the mother's insulin production. If the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, and the high levels lead to the development of gestational diabetes

    How to Prevent Diabetes

    If you suffer from diabetes you need to learn how to manage the symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately but with Type 1 diabetes you need to regulate your blood sugar through insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is more manageable.

    However, a healthy lifestyle change will be the first port of call in either condition. Healthy lifestyle changes include:

    • Maintaining a healthy weight, and losing weight especially if you are overweight or obese
    • Eating healthy food, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake
    • Being active and engaging in physical activity daily
    • Medication
    • Alternative diabetic supplements
    • Keeping doctor appointments and educating yourself

    Above all, you need to be aware of your condition and how to treat it.

    Manage Your Diabetes

    This guide showed you what is diabetes and what are the types of diabetes. Although there are no known causes for Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be a result of family history or poor lifestyle choices.

    Diabetes can be managed through monitoring your weight, eating healthy foods, and staying active as well as through traditional medication and alternative diabetic supplements.

    headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
    Author

    Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

    Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  • Related Content

      Related Content

    We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.


    woman holding a digital blood sugar monitor in her hand on table with healthy foods

    10 Supplements for Diabetics to Support Health and Wellness

    Diabetes is a serious life-long condition that affects over 34 million people across the United States. If you're looking to better manage this condition, for you or a loved one, here are supplements for diabetics to consider including in their supplement regimen.


    active senior man exercising at home with balance ball and hand dumbbells

    A Stay at Home Wellness Guide: Exercise

    Physical activity is a great way to facilitate better health and reduce stress. While we are spending more time at home, consider these suggestions to alter activities you are likely already doing, to provide more movement in your daily routines.


    collection of superfoods

    Adding Superfoods to Your Diet

    We have all heard of the term superfoods. But what does it mean? What are these foods that supposedly have numerous health benefits? How much of these foods should we be eating, and are they beneficial?


    balance ball, dumbbells, rope, medicine ball and other fitness equipment

    Affordable Home Fitness Equipment and Exercises for Adults

    The benefits of regular exercise are endless. Not only does it keep us physically healthy, but it also impacts our mental health. In addition, exercise is proven to reduce our risk of developing chronic illnesses and diseases such as diabetes and dementia.


    raw, healthy food for vegans

    Going Vegan: Untold Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

    The trend towards a vegan diet has been popular for years. Going vegan has numerous health benefits and presents an opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking. Want to learn more about how going vegan can help you improve your health and live longer? Keep on reading.


    How to Grocery Shop and What to Eat

    We are what we eat. Studies from reputable health organizations suggest that 40-60% of Americans are living with one or more chronic diseases, which negatively impacts their quality of life, reduces employment productivity, and drives up health care costs.1 Lifestyle choices, in particular, the foods we choose to put into our bodies, are making us sick. However, we do have choices regarding our nutrition.

    Learn practical tips for healthy and affordable grocery shopping and consider using a list similar to the recommended natural, whole foods grocery shopping list provided to get you off to a good start!


    assorted fruits and vegetables including avocado, tomatoes, lemons, asparagus, and onions

    Investigating Low Carb Diet Meal Plans: Are Carbs the Real Culprit?

    Diets low in carbohydrates have become very faddy over the last few years. Whether it's keto diets or low carb diets, the marketing around this way of eating has been potent.

    However, does cutting the carbs really help you with sustainable weight loss? Keep reading to learn more about low-carb diet meal plans.


    Illustration of inflammation in the gut for an obese woman.

    Understanding Inflammation's Link to Obesity, Diabetes, & Disease

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    an assortment of fresh, healthy foods suitable for inclusion in a rotation diet

    Using a Rotation Diet

    Our modern diets contain foods our bodies react badly to. We eat on the go and have an abundance of convenience and processed foods at our fingertips.

    Using a rotation diet is a great way to find out which foods you are intolerant to. It can also be a great way to lose some excess pounds.


    young girl inactive looking extremely bored

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    whole foods vegetables on display

    Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet

    How many times have you jumped on-board the diet train with high hopes of weight loss and improved health, only to discover limited food choices, difficulty staying on-track, and few measurable health benefits? Diet fads come and go, but one - the whole foods, plant-based diet (WFPB)- isn't a fad.


    Plant-based and animal sources of Omega-3 acids

    Why You Should Choose Omega-3 Rich Foods in Your Diet

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The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website is the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. This site and its content is intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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