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Diabetes Treatment Center

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose level rises above the normal range.

When you eat food, it is broken down in the stomach and intestines and transformed into a sugar called glucose. During digestion, the glucose enters the bloodstream where it is used as the body’s primary source of energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps regulate the level of sugar in the bloodstream.

With diabetes, however, either the pancreas doesn’t produce the correct amount of insulin (Type 1) or the body’s cells are unable to process and utilize the insulin (Type 2). In both cases, this causes a buildup of glucose in the blood, which results in inadequate energy supply for the body and can cause dehydration, kidney and nerve damage, blindness, an increased risk for heart attack and stroke, and more.

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 diabetes, there is very little or no insulin produced. Formerly called “juvenile diabetes,” this type of diabetes usually occurs in children and younger adults. Insulin injections are required on a daily basis to treat Type 1 diabetes. Learn more about Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

In Type 2 diabetes, the insulin that is produced does not work effectively. This is referred to as “insulin resistance.” Previously referred to as “adult-onset diabetes,” Type 2 diabetes is the most common form and occurs most frequently in inactive, overweight adults. With rising rates of childhood obesity, we are now seeing Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in more children and teens. Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a diet that promotes weight loss, exercise and oral medications. Over time, most with Type 2 diabetes produce less insulin. Because of this,insulin may also be required to treat Type 2 diabetes. 

Prediabetes is a common precursor to Type 2 diabetes and is defined as having blood sugar that is higher than the normal range, but not high enough to yield an official diagnosis of diabetes. While it has no symptoms, an estimated 86 million people in the United States have it. Learn how you can live with Type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy because hormones interfere with how the body uses insulin. When the pancreas can’t keep up with the insulin demand and blood glucose levels get too high, the result is gestational diabetes. About 2-7 percent of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Learn more about diabetes and pregnancy.



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