Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it into energy. In diabetes, the body either fails to properly respond to its own insulin, does not make enough insulin, or both. This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood, often leading to various complications.
Many types of diabetes are recognized: The principal three are:
* Type 1: Results from the body's failure to produce insulin. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Presently almost all persons with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections.
* Type 2: Results from Insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Many people destined to develop type 2 diabetes spend many years in a state of Pre-diabetes: Termed "America's largest healthcare epidemic," pre-diabetes indicates a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. As of 2009 there are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes.
* Gestational diabetes: Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar ...