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Conditions We Treat: Diabetes and Hypoglycemia

The three main types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestationalare all defined as metabolic disorders that affect the way the body metabolizes, or uses, digested food to make glucose, the main source of fuel for the body. Hypoglycemia, characterized by a blood sugar (glucose) level that is too low to fuel the body’s normal functioning, may be a condition by itself, a complication of diabetes or another disorder.

Diabetes is characterized by a failure to secrete enough insulin to compensate for the degree of insulin resistance. Because insulin is needed by the body to convert glucose into energy, these failures result in abnormally high levels of glucose accumulating in the blood. Diabetes may also be a result of other conditions, such as genetic syndromes, chemicals, drugs, pancreatitis, infections, viruses or other illnesses.

You can find more information about diabetes services on the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center website.

Diabetes:  What You Need to Know

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  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the body that produce insulin. The rate of type 1 diabetes is rising worldwide, with the greatest increase occurring in children younger than age 5.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough insulin or to properly use insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus occurs when a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. It is not caused by a lack of insulin but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective. Gestational diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery.
  • People under age 45 should consider testing for prediabetes or diabetes if they have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 kg/m2 and have several risk factors.
  • People over age 45 should be tested for prediabetes or diabetes. If a first blood glucose test is normal, individuals should be retested every three years.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins for treatment of diabetes?

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The Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center is committed to helping you or your loved one successfully manage diabetes using the latest information, treatments and technology available. Our foremost goal is to help people with diabetes live long, healthy and productive lives.