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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes has become one of the most common diseases prevalent in current times. High blood glucose levels characterize diabetes. Diabetes comes in a few forms, which are explained below.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It is also called Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. It accounts for 5-10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. About half of all cases of Type 1 diabetes appear in childhood or in the early teenage years. Autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of this type of diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

In Type 2 diabetes, there are two main underlying reasons for high blood glucose: insulin and resistance, a condition in which the body does not use insulin efficiently, and there is insufficient insulin secretion by the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes is also called Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes M (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes and most often occurs in adults. Older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity factors are involved in development of this type of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Gestation Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy. It may disappear after childbirth, but it is likely to develop again during subsequent pregnancies. Women with gestational diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Other Specific Types of Diabetes

Other specific types of diabetes result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses. Such types of diabetes may account for 1-2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes ››

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