Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects approximately 21
million Americans. It is characterized by high blood sugar caused when
the body is unable to produce or to properly use the hormone insulin,
which is needed to convert sugars, starches and other foods into energy.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes usually affects children and younger adults but
can affect people of any age. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body
makes little or no insulin. This lack of insulin keeps sugar from
entering cells and being used as energy, causing blood sugar levels to
People with Type 1 diabetes always have to take insulin shots. This type only affects 5-10% of all people with diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
This type usually affects adults over 40 but can occur in younger
people as well. More young people are getting type 2 diabetes due to
unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and being overweight.
Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use
the insulin it makes. This is called insulin resistance. People with
type 2 diabetes might be able to manage it with diet and exercise. If
this is not effective, pills and/or insulin could be necessary. Of
people with diabetes, 90-95% have type 2.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is discovered or
diagnosed during pregnancy, most commonly around the 24th to 28th week
of gestation. It can be treated with nutrition therapy only, or with the
addition of insulin injections if needed to control the blood sugar
level. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery. However,
women with gestational diabetes are at risk to develop type 2 diabetes
and should be tested after delivery and periodically thereafter.
In pre-diabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not
high enough to be defined as diabetes. Many people with pre-diabetes
develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, according to the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Pre-diabetes
also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With modest weight
loss and moderate physical activity, people with pre-diabetes can often
delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Living Resources
Diabetes Web Sites
Healthy Diet and Exercise