Diabetes Care Ocala, FL

Almost everyone knows someone who has diabetes, or perhaps you have it yourself. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 422 million adults have diabetes. That is 8.5% of the world population. The number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980 and has caused a drain on health care systems.

Exactly what is diabetes and how can it affect you ? Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone. When your body turns the food you eat into energy (also called sugar or glucose), insulin is released to help transport this energy to the cells. Insulin acts as a “key.” Its chemical message tells the cell to open and receive glucose. If you produce little or no insulin, or are insulin resistant, too much sugar remains in your blood. Blood glucose levels are higher than normal for individuals with diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the cells are unable to use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is commonly called adult-onset diabetes since it is diagnosed later in life, generally after the age of 45. 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have this type. In recent years Type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed in younger people, including children, more frequently than in the past.

If you have diabetes you must monitor yourself accordingly. Treatment for diabetes requires keeping close watch over your blood sugar levels (and keeping them at a goal set by your doctor) with a combination of medications, exercise, and diet. By paying close attention to what and when you eat, you can minimize or avoid the "seesaw effect" of rapidly changing blood sugar levels, which can require quick changes in medication dosages, especially insulin.

Diabetes can be managed well but the potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness. Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.