Over 10 percent of the American population has some form of diabetes, and an additional 34 percent are considered prediabetic. It’s a serious national health concern, and while it is often preventable through a healthy lifestyle, there are some forms of diabetes which are not so easily controlled. In total, there are three main types of the disease that can occur.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is the result of an autoimmune reaction and is responsible for about 10 percent of all instances of diabetes. In patients with type 1, the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin, leaving little to none of it available to help control blood sugar levels. As a result, patients have a lifelong dependence on insulin injections to keep glucose levels at a healthy level.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 90 percent of cases in adults. In these patients, the body produces insulin; however, it does not use it effectively to control blood sugar. In most cases, type 2 can be controlled through a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. However, there are some patients who will need to rely on insulin or medication.
The final type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, develops during pregnancy, causing elevated blood sugar levels that can be a danger to both mom and baby. Fortunately, in most cases, gestational diabetes resolves following childbirth. However, there are cases in which the condition lingers and women who have had it are far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future.
Diabetes and COVID-19
Having any form of diabetes is a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. While diabetic patients are not more likely to contract the virus, they are more susceptible to serious complications related to COVID-19. As a result, these individuals must be especially vigilant in their care and safety measures during this time.
If you are concerned about managing your own diabetes or protecting your health during this time of uncertainty, Lane Family Practice is here to help. Learn more about our physicians and services by clicking the button below.