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Diabetes mellitus, also called diabetes, is a term for several conditions involving how your body turns food into energy. When you eat a carbohydrate, your body turns it into a sugar called glucose and sends that to your bloodstream. Your pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that helps move glucose from your blood into your cells, which use it for energy.
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is higher than it should be but not high enough to diagnose diabetes.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes, because it often begins in childhood. is an autoimmune condition. It happens when your body attacks your pancreas with antibodies. The organ is damaged and doesn't make insulin. Your genes might cause this type of diabetes. It could also happen because of problems with cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Many of the health problems that can come with type 1 happen because of damage to tiny blood vessels in your eyes (called diabetic retinopathy), nerves (diabetic neuropathy), and kidneys (diabetic nephropathy). People with type 1 also have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves injecting insulin into the fatty tissue just under your skin. You might use syringes, Insulin pens that use prefilled cartridges and a thin needle, Jet injectors that use high-pressure air to send a spray of insulin through your skin, Pumps that send insulin through a tube to a catheter under the skin of your belly.
A test called the A1C blood test estimates your blood sugar levels over the previous three months. Your doctor uses it to see how well your blood sugar is controlled. That helps them know your risk of complications.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to make changes including frequent testing of your blood sugar levels, careful meal planning, daily exercise, taking insulin and other medications as needed.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas usually creates some insulin. But either it’s not enough or your body doesn’t use it like it should. Insulin resistance, when your cells don’t respond to insulin, usually happens in fat, liver, and muscle cells. Type 2 diabetes is often milder than type 1. But it can still cause major health complications, especially in the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Type 2 also raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes involves keeping a healthy weight, eating right, and exercising. Some people need medication, too.
Pregnancy usually causes some form of insulin resistance. If this becomes diabetes, it’s called gestational. Gestational diabetes treatment involves careful meal planning to make sure you get enough nutrients without too much fat and calories, daily exercise, keeping weight gain under control, taking insulin to control your blood sugar levels.