What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the human body does not properly turn food into energy.  The food we eat is mostly turned into sugar, or glucose which we in turn use for energy in our daily lives.  Insulin, which is a hormone which helps glucose reach cells in our bodies, is made by the pancreas.   Diabetes affects people by preventing their bodies  from making enough insulin or preventing effective use of the insulin which can be made.   The result of this is the build up of sugar in your blood.   Serious health conditions often result from diabetes including kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, and lower-extremity amputations.  Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Common Symptoms of Diabetes

You should see your doctor if you believe you have diabetes.    People with diabetes often experience some of the following conditions:

  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Dry skin
  • Sores which are slow healing
  • More frequent infections than normal

Nausea, vomiting, and/or stomach pains may accompany these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called Type 1 diabetes.

What are the Types of Diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenileonset diabetes, may account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are less well defined for Type 1 diabetes than for Type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of this type of diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes develops in 2 percent to 5 percent of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.

Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing Type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future. 2 3 Other specific types of diabetes result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses. Such types of diabetes may account for 1 percent to 2 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Treatment for Type 2 diabetes

Treatment typically includes diet control, exercise, home blood glucose testing, and in some cases, oral medication and/or insulin. Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections.

Types of Type II Diabetes Medications

Drug Classification
Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 (SGLT-2) Inhibitors
Sodium-Glucose Transporter (SGLT) Inhibitors
Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors
Insulin Receptor Agonists
Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Activity

SGLT-2 Inhibitor Drug Names

InvokanaJohnson & Johnson
GlyxambiBoehringer Ingelheim
JardianceBoehringer Ingelheim
InvokametJohnson & Johnson

DPP-4 Inhibitor Drug Names

NesinaTakeda Pharmaceutical
TradjentaBoehringer Ingelheim
Janumet XRMerck
GlyxambiBoehringer Ingelheim
JentaduetoBoehringer Ingelheim
KazanoTakeda Pharmaceutical
OseniTakeda Pharmaceutical