Diabetes

People with diabetes don’t have, or can’t properly use, insulin on their own. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, controls blood sugar in the body. Diabetes is typically broken down into two categories - Type 1 and Type 2. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pancreas transplantation as well as transplantation of insulin-producing islet cells can be an effective treatment. Although, dietary changes and exercise are often a first-line defense. Medication can also be used to manage blood sugar.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition characterized by the absence of insulin in the body. This, in turn, requires daily insulin injections. People with Type 1 diabetes also must regularly monitor their glucose levels. This is a less common form of diabetes that accounts for roughly 5 percent of all cases, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Currently, about 10 percent of the U.S. population has some form of diabetes. This translates to approximately 21 million people.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most commonly diagnosed form. It happens when the body is unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin. Being overweight or obese significantly raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In some cases, it can be managed through regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight. According to a study of over 3,000 people at high risk for diabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Program found that losing as little as 5 to 7 percent of total body weight through half an hour of exercise five days a week might delay or prevent diabetes when paired with healthy eating.

Gestational diabetes

Another less common type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This is something pregnant women sometimes develop around the 24th week of pregnancy. However, having gestational diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman will have diabetes after the birth. It’s caused by high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. According to the ADA, about 18 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.

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