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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease. Your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. When you eat, food gets broken down and glucose enters your bloodstream. Insulin takes the glucose out of your bloodstream and allows it to enter your cells where it is broken down and turned into energy. If you have diabetes, either you don’t have enough insulin or the insulin you do have doesn’t work to get the glucose out of your blood and into your cells. This is how your blood glucose ends up going higher than it should (hyperglycemia).1


3 main types of diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Your pancreas doesn’t make insulin at all. Usually occurs in children.

Type 2 Diabetes

Your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin doesn’t work correctly (insulin resistant). Mostly occurs in adults.

Gestational Diabetes (GDM)

A temporary condition, when a woman’s insulin is less effective during pregnancy.



1. American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Basics, retrieved from on 7 Jan 2019.


Updated on 11 Jan 2019


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