About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic illness marked by an increase level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is caused by partial or total lack of the insulin produced by the pancreas, or a decrease in the effectiveness of the insulin it does make.

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and acts as a chemical messenger. It plays a fundamental role in regulating the transfer of sugar from the blood to the cells to be used as a source of energy. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.

Type 2 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults and was previously known as adult-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. About 90% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of medications and lifestyle changes people with type 2 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.

Prediabetes – Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “prediabetes” — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

For more information regarding diabetes please visit the CODA website.

Also check out this Resource Guide.

Diabetes links here.

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