There are two types of Diabetes, Type I and Type 2.
Type 2 Diabetes, or Insulin Resistant Diabetes Mellitus, is the Diabetes that is epidemic in America. It is characterized by a pancreas that makes insulin, but the body cannot use the insulin as it needs to because the cells RESIST the insulin (insulin resistance). While a person may be predisposed to Type 2 through his or her family tree, most can prevent it from occurring by managing diet, weight, and by exercising regularly.
Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, quite a different bird. An autoimmune disease is one where a person’s own body is destroying itself. In Type I diabetes (formerly known s Juvenile Diabetes), a portion of the person’s pancreas that makes insulin is destroyed, and no the person no longer makes his/her own insulin. As a result, blood sugar levels skyrocket, and the person’s body begins to starve because cells need insulin to receive their nourishment.
As of my writing this post, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF, is funding research on the complex causes of Type I Diabetes, but the official position of most doctors on the subject is that “We don’t know” what sets it off. Certain substances in the blood called auto-antibodies are found to be the agents that destroy the area of the pancreas that makes insulin, but no one has nailed down how these autoantibodies get started working. One thing that is known is that once the insulin-secreting cells have been destroyed, The Type I diabetic will have to take artificial insulin for the rest of his/her life. Or will she??? Please read our Diabetes Story