What is diabetes? 


Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat turns into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make insulin or not enough, or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. If the Diabetes management is not the correct one, it can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, others.1

Types of diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes: It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live healthy.2

Type 2 diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.3

Gestational 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 of later developing Type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.4

LADA: LADA tends to develop more slowly than type 1 diabetes in childhood and, because LADA can sometimes appear similar to type 2 diabetes, doctors may mistakenly diagnose LADA as type 2 diabetes. It shows many of the genetic, immune, and metabolic features of Type 1 diabetes, and carries a high risk of progression to insulin dependency. This form of the condition is known as ‘latent autoimmune diabetes in adults’ (LADA). It is found in about 10% of initially non-insulin-requiring people with diabetes, and is therefore probably more prevalent than Type 1 diabetes.5

MODY: MODY is a rare form of diabetes which is different from both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and runs strongly in families. MODY is caused by a mutation (or change) in a single gene. If a parent has this gene mutation, any child they have, has a 50% chance of inheriting it from them. If a child does inherit the mutation they will generally go on to develop MODY before they’re 25, whatever their weight, lifestyle, ethnic group, etc.6

1. https://www.cdc.gov/media/presskits/aahd/diabetes.pdf
2. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-1/#sthash.nyczemvd.dpuf
3. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/#sthash.kUsjZUuD.dpuf
4. cdc.gov
5. https://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/attachments/article_5_en.pdf
6. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Diabetes-the-basics/Other-types-of-diabetes/MODY/

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