Diabetes means that the person has high blood sugar content. The two types are:
Type I: The body doesn’t produce enough insulin, and the person must inject themselves with it regularly.
Type II: The body does make insulin, but cannot use it properly – the cells are insulin resistant.
When your blood sugar levels are high, a normal body produces a hormone called insulin, which is recognised by certain cells, which then take sugar out of the blood. Diabetes is a condition in which this process stop working properly. Type 1 diabetes happens when the body cannot produce insulin, and type 2 diabetes happens when the cells that are suppost to recognise insulin stop reacting to it.
There are two major types of diabetes: diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. And here’s a gross fact about how they got their names – diabetes means ‘lots of urine’ while mellitus means ‘sweet’ and insipidus means ‘tasteless’… doctors used to diagnose which type you had by tasting your wee: if it was sweet you had diabetes mellitus, and if not you had diabetes insipidus!
Anyway, when people talk about diabetes, they usually mean diabetes mellitus. Your body normally uses a hormone called insulin to regulate the levels of glucose in the body, but in diabetes this goes wrong.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs when the cells in the pancreas that normally make insulin are lost, so your body can no longer produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when your body stops responding properly to insulin – although it can still make it, the insulin the body makes doesn’t regulate glucose levels.
There’s also a third type called gestational diabetes, which affects pregnant women. But I’m not actually sure what causes this one.