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Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Diabetes is a disease in which levels of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream are higher than normal. Glucose is produced by the body from the foods you eat. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (an organ located in your abdomen), takes glucose from the bloodstream and carries it into your cells where it is used for energy. With diabetes, glucose does not enter the cells and builds up in the bloodstream.

There are three common types of diabetes:

• Type 1 occurs when the pancreas stops making insulin. It is usually seen in children, but may occur later in life. Patients require insulin to survive.
• Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or it becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. It is usually seen in adults and elderly patients, many of whom are overweight. Younger people can also develop type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes diet and exercise, oral antidiabetic medications, or insulin.
• Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. It usually goes away after the baby is born. Women who have had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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