People with diabetes cannot regulate the level of blood glucose in the body. The hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, plays a role in keeping your glucose levels at healthy levels. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes), or their body is resistant to the insulin that is produced (type 2 diabetes).

Untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, or amputation of limbs Although, there is no cure for diabetes there are ways to manage and control glucose levels.

What are the types of diabetes?

The main types of diabetes include:

  • type 1 – the cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the person’s own immune system. People inject insulin every day to keep their levels at a healthy range and need to monitor their glucose levels several times a day
  • type 2 – a person’s body does not respond effectively to insulin and the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Initially, some people may control this type of diabetes with modifications to their diet and undertaking regular exercise but with time they may require medications or insulin injections
  • gestational diabetes – occurs in women during pregnancy. Although in some women their insulin levels return to healthy levels after childbirth, others may still have high levels.

Image caption: Scientists working on better diagnosis and treatments for diabetes.

Image credit: Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute

The institutes listed below are currently researching Diabetes, and more information about their discoveries can be found by visiting their websites.
Share this Research