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What causes diabetes?

When you eat carbohydrate-containing foods, your digestive system breaks them down into their most basic components to be absorbed into your bloodstream and distributed to the cells of your body. One of these components is a simple sugar called glucose, which is an important source of energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods include potatoes, bread, pasta, fruits, dairy products, sweets and sugary foods. Under normal circumstances, after a meal the glucose level in your blood rises which triggers your pancreas to produce a hormone called insulin. This enables the glucose to enter your cells to be used as energy and thus the levels in your blood fall.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making any insulin. The underlying reason for this failure is not always known but infection or illness is thought to be involved. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas becomes progressively less able to produce insulin, and/or your body becomes less sensitive to the effects of insulin, so blood sugar levels remain high. Excess body weight or obesity and lack of exercise contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

For more information on this subject please click on the following links:

What is diabetes?
How common is diabetes?
What are the symptoms and signs of diabetes?
How is diabetes diagnosed?
How is diabetes treated?
Lifestyle interventions
Medical treatments
Nutritional support

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The content provided by Nutricia is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with your doctor, dietitian or healthcare professional. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in these pages are not intended to replace the care of your own doctor, dietitian or healthcare professional. Before you make any changes in the management of your diet / treatment or any other persons diet /treatment you should always consult your doctor, dietitian or healthcare professional. Although we carefully review our content, Nutricia cannot guarantee or take responsibility for the medical accuracy of documents we publish, nor can Nutricia assume any liability for the content of any web site linked to our site. © 2010 Nutricia. All rights reserved.

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