Disease Management

Diabetes

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 into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. When you are diagnosed with diabetes it means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. There are three main types of diabetes:

  • InsulinType 1 diabetes - the body does not make insulin. This is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection (the immune system) turns against part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live.
  • Type 2 diabetes - the most common type of diabetes. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. The body does not make or use insulin well. The pancreas is usually producing enough insulin, but for unknown reasons the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. After several years insulin production decreases. People with type 2 diabetes often need to take pills or insulin.
  • Gestational diabetes - some women develop gestational diabetes late in pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually disappears after the birth of the baby, women who have gestational diabetes have a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a shortage of insulin.

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