From Alex, Virginia, USA:
I know that type 2 diabetes can run in families, but I couldn't find any clear book or article that explains it and I found it very hard to understand the whole concept. Can anyone explain briefly or recommend books?
In Type 1 diabetes, the body produces no insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas (an organ in your body) and it helps to keep your blood sugar in check.. Without insulin, the food we eat cannot get into the cells to be used for energy. Patients with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin injections or an insulin pump, for life.
Type 2 is the most common form and usually develops in adulthood, however we are seeing Type 2 diabetes develop in children now as well. The problem in Type 2 diabetes is that the body may be producing enough insulin but the body cannot use that insulin effectively. This underlying problem is known as insulin resistance. In addition, in Type 2 diabetes, over time, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. This is called insulin deficiency. Since the tendency is Type 2 diabetes tends to be inherited, one needs to remember you did not cause it to develop. Type 2 diabetes tends to occur more frequently over age 40, when you are overweight, have a family history, have high blood pressure, or are African American, Hispanic American or Native American. If one has three or more of the above, you should be tested for Type 2 diabetes.
There is a great book on Type 2 diabetes called Type 2 and What To Do by Virginia Valentine. The American Diabetes Association also puts out a wide variety of books which would cover this topic. You can find these offerings on their website.
Original posting 4 Jul 2001
Posted to Type 2
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