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Home : Diabetes 101
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Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism; the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down by the digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.

After digestion, the glucose passes into our bloodstream where it is available for body cells to use for growth and energy. For the glucose to get into the cells, insulin must be present. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach.

When we eat, the pancreas is supposed to automatically produce the right amount of insulin to move the glucose from our blood into our cells. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body. Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose.

Types Of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes may account for 5% to 10% 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 was previously called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90% to 95% 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% to 5% of all pregnancies but disappears when a pregnancy is over. Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and persons with a family history of diabetes. 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% of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.

"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% to 2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.


Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, what, when, and how much you eat all affect your blood glucose.
Learn about what you can do each day and during the year to stay healthy and prevent heart and blood vessel problems caused by diabetes.
Learn about the things you can do each day and during each year to stay healthy and prevent eye problems caused by diabetes.
Many people have no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can also be so mild that you might not even notice them. Five million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Here is what to look for.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high. Blood sugar that is too high can make you very sick. Here's how to handle when your blood sugar is too high.
Diabetes 101: Tips to help you stay healthy while living with diabetes - including your eyes, heart, and your feet.
This primer presents background information on stem cells.
Diabetes 101: Learn to write down the results of your blood tests every day in a record book.

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