Diabetes is a disease that causes the body to have trouble when it uses glucose, a vital source of energy also known as blood sugar, Mayo Clinic explains. There are two major types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, which each cause problems with blood sugar in different ways.
Type 1 diabetes tends to appear during childhood or adolescence, although it can appear at any age, Mayo Clinic says. In Type 1 diabetes, the body's own immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a substance that lowers blood glucose levels by causing the body's cells to take it up as an energy source. The lack of insulin caused by this condition causes blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels, so people with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to survive.
Type 2 diabetes tends to appear after age 40, although it also can start at any age, Mayo Clinic states. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the cells become resistant to its effects to the point that the pancreas cannot make enough. This also causes blood sugar to rise dangerously. Depending on its severity, Type 2 diabetes requires a number of medications for treatment. These include medications to prevent the release of glucose by the liver and medications to help the body's cells absorb glucose better.