Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to maintain a stable blood glucose concentration in the normal range. Blood glucose concentration is maintained by hormones secreted from the pancreas: glucagon which acts to increase blood glucose when it is low, and insulin which acts to reduce blood glucose when it is high. Insulin lowers blood glucose concentration by causing glucose to move from the blood into the cells of the body to be used for energy. Diabetes causes high levels of glucose.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. As no insulin is produced, your glucose levels increase, which can seriously damage the body’s organs.
Type 2 diabetes is due to insulin resistance. This means that the pancreas can produce insulin, sometimes at reduced levels to normal, but the cells in the body that take up glucose from the blood when insulin is secreted to signal high blood glucose no longer respond to the insulin signal.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and being physically inactive.
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