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Diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents your body from properly using the sugar from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs in one of the following situations:

The pancreas produces too little insulin or no insulin at all – or –

The pancreas makes insulin, but it does not work correctly (insulin resistance)

There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2:

  • Type 1 diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (beta cells) are damaged. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin so sugar cannot get into the body’s cells. People with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin to control their blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in people under the age 30, however, it can occur at any age. Only 10% of people with diabetes are diagnosed with Type 1.
  • In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough or the insulin made does not work correctly. 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 and it occurs most often in people over the age of 40 and who are overweight. Type 2 diabetes may sometimes be controlled through the combination of diet, weight management, and exercise, however, treatment also may include glucose-lowering medications (taken by mouth) or insulin injections.

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