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The Basics of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder in which, for one reason or another, the body does not receive enough glucose (stored in the liver as glycogen). There are three main types of this disorder.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans produce little or no insulin. This type of diabetes makes up about ten to twelve percent of cases. Those who are at a higher risk of suffering from type 1 diabetes include those of African or Latin-American lineage or with a family history of the disorder. Some symptoms of type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger and weight loss, fatigue, irritability, vomiting and nausea, hypoglycemia and sweet-smelling breath.

Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly when the body does not effectively use the insulin produced by the pancreas, making up about ninety percent of cases. Risk factors include age over 45, obesity, or previous glucose intolerances, for whatever reason. Symptoms include those of type 1 diabetes, but may also include frequent infections, slow healing, and numbness or tingling in the extremeties.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary diabetic condition due to pregnancy.


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