Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism. The energy that our bodies use is from glucose, or sugar that is broken down from the food we eat. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. After digestion from the food we eat, glucose passes into the bloodstream, where it is used by the cells in our bodies for growth and energy. In order for glucose to enter into the cells it requires a hormone called insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach. When we eat, the pancreas automatically produces the correct amount of insulin to allow glucose to absorb from the blood into our cells.
In individuals with diabetes, their pancreas either produces too little or no insulin or the cells do not react properly to the insulin that is produced. The build up of glucose in the blood, overflows into the urine and then passes out of the body. Therefore, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose.
There are three common types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes - This is an autoimmune disease, where the system of the body fights inflection (the immune system) turns against a part of the body. With individuals who has diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. After the beta cells are destroyed, the pancreas then produces little of no insulin. As a result, the cells do not have enough energy and sugar builds up in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes – This is not a problem caused by the immune system destroying the beta cells in the pancreas, but tnstead, it causes either by, the beta cells not produce enough insulin or the muscle, fat, and other cells do not respond correctly to the insulin that is released. This condition is known as insulin resistance.
Gestational diabetes - Gestational diabetes is the appearance of diabetes during pregnancy. Once gestational diabetes occurs, it carries throughout the reminder of the pregnancy and usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. Gestational diabetes is a results of certain hormones produced during pregnancy making the body resistant to the effects of insulin. These hormones are cortisal and human placental lactogen.
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