In a special partnership with Healthline, dLife is proud to bring you a look at the most recent diabetes facts and statistics.
By: Jessica Timmons. Medically Reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., RN, CRNA
Diabetes mellitus is a term for a group of disorders that cause elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body.
Glucose is a critical source of energy for your brain, muscles, and tissues. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. This triggers the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin.
Insulin acts as a “key” that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood. If your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to effectively manage glucose, it can’t function or perform properly. This produces the symptoms of diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications by damaging blood vessels and organs. It can increase the risk of:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Eye disease
Nutrition and exercise can help manage diabetes, but it’s also important to track blood glucose levels. Treatment may include taking insulin or other medications.
Types Of Diabetes
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of diabetes:
- Prediabetes. Blood glucose levels are higher than what’s considered normal, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes. The pancreas produces no insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes. The pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or your body can’t use it effectively.
- Gestational diabetes. Expectant mothers are unable to make and use all of the insulin they need during pregnancy.