There are two main types of diabetes affecting both men and women: Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The pancreas can no longer make the insulin necessary to move sugar, or glucose, from the blood stream into the other cells of the body for energy. This remaining glucose increases in the blood and eventually can cause great damage to internal organs and blood vessels. Type 2 diabetes affects nearly 21 million Americans, with over 90% of all diabetes diagnoses being Type 2. Type 2 affects the body’s ability to properly use the insulin that is produced, with the body cells not responding to it, and glucose levels becoming too high. Type 2 diabetes does not always have clear-cut symptoms, leaving the disease sometimes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Another type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes (GD) which affects about 4% of all pregnant women. The disease usually appears during the second trimester and in most cases, if treated correctly, disappears after the birth of the baby. If not treated properly and controlled GD can have severe complications affecting both the mother and baby. Having GD increases the risk for developing it again during future pregnancies and also raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
While family history and genetics indicate risk factors which may determine whether one develops Type 2 diabetes, typical warning signs for all types of diabetes have been found to be: obesity, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, a history of metabolic syndrome, ethnicity and increase in age. Symptoms for diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, unplanned weight loss, weakness and fatigue, numbness or tingling in hands, legs or feet, blurred vision, dry and itchy skin, frequent infections, and slow healing of cuts and bruises.
Tune in to Medical Update on Saturday, March 20 to watch Viswanathan Ravishankar, MD, director of the Center for Diabetes in Pregnancy at , and Michael Balkin, MD, chief of endocrinology at Huntington Hospital, discuss the various types of diabetes, blood glucose monitoring, the treatments and new medications available. Medical Update airs at 11 am on WLNY-TV, which can be seen on Channel 10 on Long Island Cablevision and Verizon FiOS TV, and on Channel 55 on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and DishTV.
Media Contact: Elaine Wohl