Diabetes (also known as hyperglycemia) is a broad term for a condition that causes the body’s blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to offset the body’s level of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for the resistance, but over time the pancreas often isn't able to sustain normal blood glucose levels. The treatment for type 2 diabetes varies depending on age, severity, medical history, and even personal preferences, but it can include physical activity and weight loss, nutritional changes, and either oral or injected medications and/or insulin.
With type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. Previously known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes usually is diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can develop at any age. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. Those with type 1 diabetes generally must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor blood sugar levels.
Another form, called gestational diabetes, is sometimes developed during pregnancy, usually during week 20-24, by women who didn’t have diabetes before. It may require varying degrees of treatment and/or lifestyle and dietary changes similar to what is indicated for type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes subsides following delivery.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov.View Clinical Trials