Usually, your digestive system processes the food you eat and moves the glucose into your bloodstream. One of your organs called the pancreas produces an important hormone called insulin. Insulin is what helps move the glucose from the bloodstream into your body’s cells, where it’s used for energy.
Diabetes can affect how your body processes glucose in a couple of different ways. In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body’s insulin doesn’t work the way that it should.
In both types of diabetes, glucose can’t get into the body’s cells like it should. This results in sugar levels in the blood being too high or too low. When your blood sugar level is too high or too low, you can feel fatigued and dizzy or get really sick. People with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar levels many times each day.
Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. Doctors can’t predict who will get it and who won’t. While scientists believe that a person’s genes that are passed down from parents have something to do with getting type 1 diabetes, they also believe that another event, such as a infection, might be needed to trigger type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is different. The pancreas still makes insulin, but the body doesn’t use it in the correct way. Doctors believe one of the primary factors in getting type 2 diabetes is being overweight.
Being overweight makes it harder for the body to use insulin properly. Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by eating healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a normal weight. In addition, some people with type 2 diabetes are able to stop taking insulin if they get to and maintain a healthy weight.