What is diabetes?
Diabetes is when your body struggles to produce or respond to insulin. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise to an unhealthy level. Long-term, very high blood sugar levels can lead to issues like heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
Diabetes is divided into two main types:
- type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease that’s normally identified in childhood. It happens when your immune system attacks and damages the production site of insulin until your body can no longer make it.
- type 2 diabetes — this is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or your cells become resistant to it.
While both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be caused by genetic factors, lifestyle factors like a poor diet might contribute to type 2 diabetes.