What is Diabetes?

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What is Diabetes?

Our bodies need energy to function effectively. Running, dancing, and even thinking all require energy. Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects your body’s ability to turn food into energy.

When we eat, most of the food is broken down into sugar (also called glucose), so it can be released into the bloodstream.

As more sugar (glucose) is released into your bloodstream, your blood sugar levels go up. This signals your pancreas to release Insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have Diabetes, your body either:

  • Doesn’t make enough insulin
  • It can’t use the Insulin it makes as well as it should

This means that too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, this can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.​  Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death and is a growing problem in the United States, with diabetes diagnoses more than doubling in the last 20 years and costing more than $327 billion each year.

There are 3 main types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1.

Type 2 Diabetes:

With Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2.

Gestational Diabetes:

Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. During pregnancy, the body makes more hormones and these changes can cause the body’s cells to use insulin less effectively (insulin resistance). Every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes.

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