Diabetes Definitions

Linda Benedict, Reames, Elizabeth S.  |  12/9/2008 2:51:04 AM

Type 1 diabetes occurs because the body can’t make insulin, and sugar levels in blood get too high. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that the body needs to move glucose (sugar) from the blood into body cells to be used for energy. Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes and insulin-dependent diabetes. Most cases of type 1 diabetes develop in youth, but it can develop at any age. Five percent to 10 percent of all diabetes cases are type 1.

Type 2 diabetes occurs because the body either can’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly, causing sugar to build up in the blood. Type 2 diabetes was previously known as adult onset and noninsulin-dependent diabetes. From 90 percent to 95 percent of diabetes cases are type 2. Most cases of type 2 begin after age 30 or 40, but the number of children and teens with type 2 is increasing.

Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose that develops at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.

Beth Reames

(This article appeared in the fall 2008 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)
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