Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by the body’s inability to use and regulate glucose, an energy source from foods. Diabetes is associated with a lack of production or activation of insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose as fuel, resulting in excess glucose in the bloodstream. Research suggests that diabetes is likely caused by an interaction between an underlying genetic vulnerability for the disease and an environmental stressor (e.g., an illness, poor diet/exercise) and can occur throughout the life span. This entry describes type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) throughout the life span, including the differences between these types of diabetes, their prevalence, and their management in the context of social relationships across the life span.

T1D (historically ...

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