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About Diabetes

There are three main kinds of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin, a protein hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. This happens because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed the pancreas' beta cells. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin injections or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, taking aspirin daily, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, including childhood. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and the fat, muscle, or liver cells do not use it properly. Being overweight can increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes using diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, taking aspirin daily, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that some women develop during the late stages of pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had it is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by an upset in the production of insulin due to hormone changes in pregnancy.

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