Insulin is a hormone that the human pancreas makes to allow cells to use glucose. It is important because it moves glucose (a simple sugar) into the body’s cells from the blood. It also has a number of other effects on metabolism.
The food that we eat provides our body with glucose, which is used by the cells as a source of energy. If insulin isn’t available or doesn’t work correctly to move glucose from the blood into cells, glucose will stay in the blood. High blood glucose levels are toxic, and cells that don’t get glucose are lacking the fuel they need to function properly.
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the human body does not produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs. In some cases where the cells of our body don’t respond properly to insulin is also referred to as diabetes.
Diabetes can be classified in the following types below:
Prediabetes is a term used to describe blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Many people with prediabetes go on to develop diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin. Everyone with type 1 diabetes requires insulin injections. Most people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during their childhood or adolescent years.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use insulin properly. It usually occurs in adults, although in some cases children may be affected. People with type 2 diabetes usually have a family history of this condition and 90% are overweight or obese and may eventually need insulin injections.
Gestational Diabetes is a less common form of diabetes which is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. The problem usually clears up after delivery, but women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you or your near & dear one has been diagnosed with diabetes, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are many patient assistance programs available which will help you manage diabetes.