Diabetes is a chronic medical condition marked by the body’s inability to regulate insulin levels, which can lead to excessive blood sugar. There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body makes very little insulin or no insulin at all. It typically onsets during childhood or adolescence and must be managed with daily insulin injections. With type 2 diabetes, insulin levels are affected by a patient’s excess weight or obesity. It typically sets in during adulthood. The third and rarest type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women. It may or may not go away after the affected woman gives birth.
What is Diabetes?
Approximately 23.6 million people in America have diabetes, a serious, metabolism disorder and a condition that will affect the rest of their lives. And the diabetes epidemic is growing with a reported 1.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes each and every year!
Diabetes affects the manner in which the body metabolises and utilizes digested food for energy. The majority of the foods we consume are broken down into glucose, or sugar in the blood, which provides the fuel and energy that our bodies need to our cells. For glucose to pass through the bloodstream and into our cells, insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present. However, in those with diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, meaning the cells don’t respond to the insulin, and the unused glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body where this valuable source of fuel is lost.
Diabetes occurs in three types: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Click through to read more about each type as well as signs, symptoms and treatments for diabetes.