Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, no insulin is produced by the body, and as a result cells cannot get the glucose from the bloodstream.  The glucose remains in the blood causing high blood glucose, also known as hyperglycemia.  Five to ten percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes; most are younger than 20 when they are diagnosed.  Type 1 diabetes is generally an inherited disease; the gene is passed from generation to generation.  Then, something in the environment, maybe a virus, maybe stress, causes the body to destroy cells of the pancreas gland that make insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

With type 2 diabetes the body may still be making insulin, however the body is either not making enough insulin or not utilizing the insulin effectively.  Some examples of causes for type 2 diabetes are:

  • The cells do not take in enough glucose from the bloodstream because they have trouble using insulin. This is called insulin resistance.
  • The liver releases more stored glucose into the bloodstream than the body needs.
  • The pancreas may not make enough insulin.
  • The pancreas may not supply enough insulin after eating.

Ninety percent of people with diabetes have type 2; the majority are over the age of 40. However, the number of children and teens being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is rising.  Individuals can have type 2 diabetes for many years and not realize it.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes means diabetes in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally occurs during the sixth through ninth month of pregnancy. The hormones secreted during pregnancy cause an increase in blood sugar levels.  Extra insulin is then needed by the body to lower these blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes occurs if the pancreas cannot make enough extra insulin to lower the blood sugar.

Ten percent of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. After the baby is born, the mother’s blood sugar usually returns to a normal level. Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 – 10 years after pregnancy.

Most women with gestational diabetes feel fine. A blood test is the only way to discover gestational diabetes.  The test is usually done at the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester.  However, the test can be done earlier if there is an increased risk for gestational diabetes.

There is an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes when the mom is:

  • Twenty-five years or older during the first pregnancy
  • Overweight before becoming pregnant
  • Has a family history of diabetes
  • Has previously delivered of a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
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