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What is diabetes

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So what is diabetes or diabetes mellitus and how does somebody get this disease?

Diabetes mellitus is a severe, life threatening disease wherein the body loses its ability to turn glucose (sugar) into usable energy. You may have heard the incorrect expression used for this illness as sugar diabetes. There are two main types of the disease that will be describes below.

Insulin, blood sugar and hyperglycemia

Insulin, blood sugar and hyperglycemia are all terms that anybody diagnosed with diabetes should be familiar with.
So, what is diabetes and what actually happens? Muscle cells and other body tissues need carbohydrates and glucose in order to function properly without problems. Our body has its own system for regulating the exact amount of glucose that becomes absorbed into the bloodstream. Moreover the same system also takes care of the amount of glucose that enters the body’s cells. This glucose regulating system is called insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. High levels of blood sugar is caused by an insulin imbalance.

In fact, people who suffer from diabetes generally produce too little insulin, or the body’s cells do not respond to it action, this leads to abnormally high levels of blood sugar. When blood sugar levels are high this is referred to as hyperglycemia.

Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes, and gestational diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes and a third temporary kind. They all are caused by insulin based problems, but there are some differences …

Type 1 Diabetes
This particular type of diabetes (type I) usually starts in childhood and is often referred to as juvenile diabetes. Another name which is related to its actual symptom is insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or IDDM.

Type 2 Diabetes
On the other hand, diabetes that generally takes place later in life is called adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or NIDDM. This kind of diabetes accounts for around 95% of all cases of the illness and is commonly known as type II diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can afect child bearing mothers during pregnancy. Most cases of gestational diabetes disappear after child birth. However, women who experience this condition are at greater risk of developing diabetes in later life and should take all possible precautions.

To return to our main diabetes page, please select this link what causes diabetes

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