Diabetes is a condition marked by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. More than 18 million Americans live with diabetes, most often type 2 diabetes. People can acquire diabetes at any age.
The Diabetes Program is a multidisciplinary group of doctors, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, and other staff members. We are dedicated to the evaluation, treatment, and education of patients with any form of diabetes.
The insulin pump program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center aims to meet the needs of anyone using a pump or considering it. We have user-friendly educational programs to help patients adjust to the life changes required to successfully manage diabetes and we make every effort to maintain consistently good communication with all members of the program.
We work closely with providers and other colleagues including:
Types of 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 type 1 diabetes, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The result is an extreme lack of or absence of insulin, a hormone that is necessary for life because it allows the body to be able to use sugar. Glucose (sugar) is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the 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, making up 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas creates insulin, but the body can't use it effectively. This means that glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood instead of being used by the body as fuel. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, including childhood. 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.