Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. When we eat, our bodies turn the food we eat into glucose, which is a type of sugar. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, creates a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into cells where it can be used for energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin as well as it should, causing sugar to build up in the body. Insulin levels also affect carbohydrate, lipid, protein and mineral metabolism. Problems with insulin signaling can therefore have widespread and serious effects on other tissues and organs disrupting important systems and functions.
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin requiring the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. It may precede development of type 2 DM. Other forms of diabetes may result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses.
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Tracking Diabetes in Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Health Data Explorer tracks the age-adjusted percentage of adults ages 20 and older with diabetes, excluding gestational diabetes.