Is diabetes an autoimmune disease? How to tell if you have diabetes and what treatment options available for you? Here’s everything you need to know about diabetes!
Is Diabetes an Autoimmune Disease?
What Are Autoimmune Disorders?
Autoimmune diseases or disorders refer to the condition in which the immune system mistakes the body’s healthy tissues as foreign invaders and starts attacking them. The more severe the attack is, the more it affects how that individual body part functions.
While scientists haven’t come to a conclusion why autoimmune diseases occur, genetics is believed to be the critical factor in this story.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: What’s the Difference?
- Both are chronic diseases.
- Both impact glucose (blood sugar).
- Both can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels and increased risks of diabetes complications.
- Type 1 diabetes patients don’t produce insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes patients don’t respond to insulin as well as they should, and their bodies lose the ability to make enough insulin later in the disease.
Is Diabetes an Autoimmune Disease?
Also called juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that often occurs in children and teens. The insulin-producing part of the pancreas is attacked by immune cells to the point that they can’t produce insulin. As a result, blood sugar levels rise, leading to symptoms such as irritability, increased thirst, frequent urination.
Over the last decade, researchers have examined whether type 2 diabetes is also an autoimmune disease, similar to type 1 diabetes. symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include increased hunger, increased thirst, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Did you know? Glucose supplies your body with the energy it needs. However, without an adequate supply of insulin, your cells can’t use glucose and get the energy they need. That’s when symptoms of diabetes occur.
How to Tell If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For diagnosis, doctors usually use the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test to indicate your average blood sugar levels. If the A1C test isn’t available or can’t be conducted, doctors may resort to the following tests as alternatives:
- Fasting Blood Sugar Test
- Random Blood Sugar Test
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
What Are the Treatments for Diabetes?
Treatments for diabetes usually aim at lowering blood sugar levels closer to normal and prevent possible complications. Options include:
Weight loss works best in controlling blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Obese individuals can see improvements in these factors after losing as little as 5% of their weight.
At YM, we use extensive blood work, medical history, and science-backed principles to build a tailored algorithm for weight loss prescriptions. Check out our 90-Day Medical Weight Loss Program here!
Exercise is essential for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. It also helps with regulating blood sugar levels and limits inactivity. Consider:
- Aerobic Exercise
- Resistance Training
There’s no go-to diabetes diet. However, it’s important to stick your diet to:
- Healthy Snacks
- Smaller Portion Sizes
- More High-Fiber Foods
- Low-Fat Meats and Fish
- Modest Servings of Low-Fat Dairy
When diet and exercise can help with your target blood sugar levels, prescribed medications can be the option.
Among many, metformin is generally the first one prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It’s proposed to lower glucose production in the liver and enhance the insulin sensitivity of your body.
Unsure if you have type 2 diabetes? Test and maintain a “normal” range of blood sugar levels, and connect with healthcare professionals like YM to better understand your symptoms and conditions. Let’s get in touch!
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