Overview of Diabetes


Diabetes is a disease in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin on its own or doesn’t use the insulin it does make as effectively as it needs to.  This results in sugar building up in the blood, resulting in blood glucose levels which are not healthy. 


Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death, and the risk of death is 50% higher for diabetics than non-diabetics. 


All people with diabetes, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed are at greater risk for developing neuropathy.  In fact, 50% of diabetics will be diagnosed with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (also called diabetic nerve pain, or diabetic neuropathy). 


Type 1 Diabetes

Type I diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes) is a disease in which your body does not produce insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot successfully transfer glucose from the bloodstream to the cells of the body, which rely on glucose for energy.  Typically diagnosed in children and young adults, type 1 diabetes accounts for only 5% of all cases of diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, insulin resistant diabetes or adult-onset diabetes) is the prevailing type of diabetes, accounting for 90-95% of all diabetes diagnoses. People with type 2 diabetes are unable to use the insulin produced by their body properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise to unhealthy or abnormal levels.


Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and may affect as many as 10% of pregnant women.  Gestational diabetes goes away after the mother has given birth in the vast majority of cases. 


Other Types of Diabetes

Other specific types of diabetes, which may result from surgery, medications, malnutrition, illness, infections and genetic syndromes are rare, accounting for 1-5% of diagnosed cases of diabetes.