In your body, there’s a small organ called the pancreas, which sits just behind and a little below your stomach. The pancreas has beta cells that make insulin, which helps your body get the sugar it needs for energy. People with diabetes either don’t have any insulin, not enough insulin or the insulin they do have doesn’t work very well, so too much sugar stays in the bloodstream.
What is Glucose?
When you eat, your food gets digested and the sugar from the food travels through the bloodstream to the parts of your body that need it. This simple form of sugar is called glucose, your body’s main source of energy.
What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, but most often starts in younger people, which is why it’s sometimes called juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas no longer makes insulin. That’s because your immune system is attacking beta cells in your pancreas that make insulin. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are having to pee a lot (called polyuria, which means increased urination), being very thirsty (called polydipsia, meaning increased thirst) and eating a lot (called polyphagia, which means increased eating).
What is type 2 diabetes?
While type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, kids can get it too. In type 2 diabetes, either your pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep up with your body’s needs, or your body doesn’t use the insulin very well. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and is related to family history, being overweight, lack of activity, and race or ethnicity.
Why Do I Have It?
You may be wondering why you have diabetes. The truth is, no one knows exactly why some kids get diabetes and others don’t. One thing’s for sure—you didn’t do anything wrong to get diabetes. In fact, there is nothing that anyone could have done to keep it from happening.
*Source: CDC 2007 Facts