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How diabetes affects your body

  • There are several types of diabetes. Type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes are the three most common types.

    • If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas makes very little or no insulin. Your body needs insulin to move glucose from your blood into your cells for energy.
    • If you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas still produces some insulin, but your body does not use it like it should. This is called insulin resistance.
    • If you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas does not make the extra insulin that is needed during pregnancy.

    Without insulin working correctly in your body, the glucose from your food stays in your blood. Instead of glucose moving into your cells, it builds up in your blood.

    You may have the following symptoms:

    • increased thirst
    • frequent urination
    • less energy
    • unexplained weight loss
    • dry skin
    • blurred vision
    • hunger
    • frequent yeast infections
    • sores that do not heal
  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, sixth edition
    Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
    First published: 12/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 01/09/2015

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