Dealing with Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder of the endocrine (hormone) system. It occurs when the body cannot regulate blood sugar properly. Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulates blood sugar levels and allows the body to use sugar, called glucose, for energy.

Type I and Type II Diabetes

DiabetesType I Diabetes is brought on by the body's inability to make insulin. This occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system. People with type I diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar.

Type II Diabetes occurs when the body does not respond to the effects of insulin. The body continues to produce insulin but insulin production by the body may decrease over time. The insulin the pancreas secretes with type II diabetes is either not enough or the body is not able to recognize the insulin and use it properly. When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin is not used as it should be, glucose can't get into the body's cells.

Diabetes Prevention

Some diabetes risk factors cannot be changed - age, family history and ethnic background. However, there are other risk factors that can be changed by eating a healthier diet and increasing your physical activity. In someone who already has diabetes, exercise and a healthy diet can limit the effects of both types I and II diabetes on your body.

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