Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use the insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone produced in the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin helps the body to process and store the glucose or sugar found in food, especially carbohydrates. It helps the glucose be absorbed into the cells to produce energy, or it helps the body to store the glucose for future energy needs. Insulin also helps to keep the body glucose levels stable, and it prevents the body from having too little sugar (hypoglycemia) or too much sugar (hyperglycemia).
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes has also been known as insulin-dependent diabetes. It is a condition where the beta cells in the pancreas either do not produce insulin or do not produce enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes often require careful monitoring of their blood sugar levels and their diet. They require a special diabetic diet that carefully monitors their carbohydrate intake. These individuals usually require insulin injections.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and has also been referred to as age-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce some insulin, but the body either does not produce enough or the cells are resistant to it. A risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is obesity. It used to be seen more in older adults, however, with the current epidemic of overweight children, it is being seen in younger people. Type 2 diabetes is often able to be controlled with a diabetic diet and exercise. However in severe cases, insulin supplementation may be necessary.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that is triggered during pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause some resistance to insulin, which can usually occur between mid to late pregnancy. Since the glucose is circulated through the placenta to the baby, controlling the level of sugar and insulin is very important during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually resolves itself after the baby is delivered.