What’s insulin? Insulin is the natural hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
There are 3 main types of diabetes:
In Type 1 diabetes, the body’s defense system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with Type 1 produce little or no insulin.
In Type 2 diabetes consists of insulin resistance and/or relative insulin deficiency. This type is often associated with obesity.
Gestational diabetes is a more rare condition that occurs when pregnant women have high blood glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes patients need insulin shots (often in the form of a pump or “pod”) to live.
Children and young adults are at the highest risk of Type 1 diabetes.
90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2.
Up to 45 percent of children with newly diagnosed diabetes have Type 2 diabetes and most are overweight or obese at diagnosis. This means that Type 2 is not only treatable, but preventable, with proper diet and exercise.
In some countries (like Japan), Type 2 diabetes has become the most common form of the disease in children.
In native and aboriginal communities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, at least one in 100 youth have diabetes. In some communities, it is one in every 25.
Diabetes is even more tragic for the poor without access to proper treatment. In Zambia, a child with Type 1 diabetes can expect to live an average of 11 years. In Mali, the same child can expect to live only 30 months (a little over 2 years old). And in Mozambique, that child is likely to die within a year of birth.
Insulin was discovered more than 85 years ago and is a proven method managing diabetes. Unfortunately, children in many parts of the world still die because this essential drug is not available to them.
Children with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar regularly to help control their diabetes.
Encourage healthier diets by changing lunch options at your school. GO