Diabetes affects more than 37 million Americans, and 1 in 5 do not even know they have it. The number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled in the last 20 years.
National Diabetes Month is in November, and we are sharing some basic facts about diabetes and tips on how to prevent diabetes health problems.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-term health condition where your body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin properly. This can cause too much blood sugar to stay in your bloodstream, leading to serious health problems.
Type 1 diabetes is when your body’s immune system destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin by mistake. About 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is when your body does not make enough insulin or does not use it how it is supposed to. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2.
Gestational diabetes is when diabetes develops during pregnancy. Although it usually goes away after delivery, it can cause health problems for both mom and baby.
What causes diabetes?
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still being researched. What we know is that genes and environmental factors play an important role.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by genes and lifestyle factors. These include being overweight, obese, and not being physically active.
Genes and lifestyle factors, combined with hormonal changes during pregnancy, also cause gestational diabetes.