Diabetes: What is it? – Dr. Than Vutha

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Diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal and since it is a chronic disease, it can cause damage to cells and other organs if not receiving proper treatment, management, and follow-up. Insulin is a hormone released by cells in the pancreas. It facilitates the absorption of glucose from the blood into the cells for use as a source of energy. For diabetes patient, the amount and effectiveness of hormones decrease, which is a major cause of regular high blood sugar levels.

How many types of Diabetes are there?

There are many types of diabetes, and the International Medical Association categorizes them into four main categories.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system attacking the cells of the pancreas itself, causing a dramatic drop in insulin levels. This type of diabetes is most found in children and adolescents. This type of diabetes requires insulin therapy.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body not being able to use insulin and a decrease in the amount of insulin to some extent.

Gestational Diabetes

The third group is diabetes mellitus, which occurs in pregnant women. During pregnancy, women experience many hormonal changes. Some women may develop a condition called hyperglycemia, also known as gestational diabetes. Most of these patients will return to normal after giving birth, but even so, those who experience gestational diabetes are at risk for developing diabetes in the future.

There are also other types of Diabetes which are less common than the 3 mentioned above.

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