What Is Diabetes

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For many people, the fine regulation of the level of blood glucose becomes impaired. This results in chronic high blood glucose concentrations medically known as hyperglycemia. The impairment may be due to a decreased ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, which is the case in type 1 diabetes. The lack of insulin allows glucose levels to remain elevated even in a fasting state. Furthermore, after a meal blood glucose levels can climb exceptionally high (see Figure 4.4). For most people diagnosed with diabetes, blood glucose regulation is impaired despite their ability to produce insulin. In fact, many of these individuals produce more insulin than what seems normal, at least initially. This type of diabetes is referred to as type 2 diabetes.

In the past, type 1 diabetes has also been called insulin-dependent diabetes because medical treatment involves insulin therapy via needle injections or automated subcutaneous pumps. Insulin nasal sprays seem to be promising to simplify diabetes management. Type 1 diabetes has also been referred to as juvenile (or child-onset) diabetes because diagnosis is much more common in children. However, since type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, type 1 diabetes is the most correct terminology. Type 2 diabetes has also been called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, as medical treatment does not absolutely require insulin injections. However, because insulin injections may be prescribed from time to time this terminology is confusing. Furthermore, type 2 diabetes has been referred to as adult-onset diabetes mellitus since it is more commonly diagnosed in adults. Again, this is confusing as more children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. While type 2 diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, it is more common in US population among African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

Diabetes is an impairment to the processes that regulates blood glucose.

  • Type 1 is caused by a lack of insulin production.
  • Type 2 is caused by a failure of insulin to effectively regulate glucose levels.

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Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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