Individuals with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin because the body's immune system destroys insulin producing cells (called beta cells) in the pancreas. This usually occurs during childhood or at a very young age. Such patients need their entire supply of insulin from external sources to keep their blood glucose levels normal.
A vast majority of diabetes patients belong to this category. In this type, the body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells — or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. It is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolises sugar (glucose), your body's important source of fuel.
Insulin resistance worsens as weight increases and physical activity decreases. Many individuals with type 2 diabetes lead sedentary lifestyles, and are obese; they weigh at least 15-20% more than what is recommended for their height and build. Some individuals with type 2 diabetes may require insulin injections, but most can control the disease through a combination of weight loss, exercise, and doctor-prescribed oral diabetes medication.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with:
In the third trimester of pregnancy, about 5% pregnant women develop a form of diabetes called gestational diabetes. Blood glucose levels return to normal on their own after delivery. However, studies have shown that about 40% women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 15 years. All pregnant women should be tested for diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks.
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