Diabetes 101

Diabetes 101

Diabetes is a common chronic medical condition caused by increased blood sugar (glucose) levels. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, also known as “juvenile” or “insulin-dependent” diabetes, occurs when the pancreas, the organ that processes glucose, does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that helps metabolize glucose. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood and requires insulin treatment throughout life.

Type 2 diabetes is also called “adult-onset” diabetes; yet, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children and is correlated with increasing rates of childhood obesity. A person with type 2 diabetes becomes insulin resistant or produces insulin, but is not able to appropriately metabolize glucose.1

Risk Factors

Obesity and physical inactivity are the most common causes of type 2 diabetes.  Other risk factors include impaired glucose metabolism, history of gestational diabetes, older age and race/ethnicity.  Individuals with a family history of type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop the disease than those without.2 Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of US diabetes cases.3

Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is caused by autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors.  Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and requires life-long management of the disease.

Additional Resources

American Diabetes Association
Centers for Disease Control: Diabetes
WebMD Diabetes Information

1 Torpy J et. al. JAMA, April 15, 2009 – Vol 301, No. 15

2 Torpy J et. al. JAMA, April 15, 2009 – Vol 301, No. 15

3 Center for Disease Control estimates https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/general.htm#what


Did You Know?

With gestational diabetes, the body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Those with gestational diabetes did not have diabetes prior to conception nor does it mean they will have diabetes after giving birth. Gestational diabetes affects about 4 percent of all pregnant women.1