Diabetes 101: The Basics
Diabetes is a condition that affects the amount of insulin a person’s body produces. Insulin is important because it moves sugar (glucose) from our bloodstreams into our cells after we eat. This is the main source of fuel for our bodies.
In people with diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced. Instead of being used as energy, the glucose builds up in the blood and is passed out of the body. So, the body loses its main source of fuel.
There are different types of diabetes. In certain cases, it can be prevented or controlled without medication. Type 1 Diabetes:
- Usually affects children and adolescents
- Requires regular monitoring of blood sugar
- Meals/snacks can help increase low blood sugar
- Insulin shots help decrease high blood sugar
Type 2 Diabetes:
- Usually occurs after age 45
- The most common form of diabetes
- Can usually be controlled with diet and exercise
- Occurs in the middle of pregnancy and is usually a temporary condition
- Blood sugar levels can be controlled through diet and exercise
- Increases a mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy