World Diabetes Day Designed to Raise Awareness

366 million people now have the disease; estimates see 552 million cases by 2030

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Gestational diabetes: This type of diabetes is like type 2 diabetes, because the body becomes resistant to insulin. It generally disappears after the birth of the baby, but women who've had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the IDF.

There's also another type of diabetes, which is closely linked to type 1 diabetes, but appears to share features of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, at least early in the disease. It's called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults. It's also sometimes called type 1.5. This type of diabetes tends to start off slowly, like type 2, but the antibodies associated with type 1 that are responsible for the destruction of the insulin-producing cells are present, and eventually, these people must use insulin injections, like people with type 1 disease, according to the ADA.

Type 2 and gestational diabetes are often diagnosed through a routine blood test, or through a glucose tolerance test, which involves drinking a sugary liquid and having your blood tested at regular intervals over several hours.

"The most common symptom of type 2 is no symptom at all. That's why it's best to check the blood sugar regularly -- [at annual physicals, for example] -- so that people don't live with diabetes for many years," said Zonszein.

Type 1 symptoms generally come on quickly, and make people so sick, it's difficult to miss.

Symptoms of diabetes may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing wounds

More information

Learn more about the warning signs of diabetes from the International Diabetes Federation.

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