In type 1 diabetes, which affects 5% of all diabetics, the body's immune system turns against beta cells in the pancreas that produce the insulin needed to regulate blood sugar. Type 1 diabetics typically must take daily insulin via injection to remain healthy.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and is often linked to obesity. In type 2 diabetes, either the body doesn't produce enough insulin-a hormone needed- for the body to convert blood sugar into energy for cells-or the cells ignore the insulin. If left untreated, complications that can result include heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Want to Keep Reading?
Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.