Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

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Diabetes affects the way the body uses food. It is caused by a lack of insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas that is essential for converting energy from food. Insulin is necessary for the body to process nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), and its absence causes high sugar (glucose) levels in the blood. In type 1 diabetes, which usually starts in childhood, the pancreas stops making insulin altogether. In type 2 diabetes, which starts in adulthood (and in some teenagers), the body still makes some insulin, but it doesn't make enough insulin, or the body can't use it properly. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled by weight loss, sensible eating, and pills to improve the insulin supply or help it work better. Type 1 diabetes must always be treated with insulin injections.


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Services and Programs

  • Family Outreach Center
    Disability-specific programs associated with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and other organizations at Vanderbilt provide a broad range of treatment, research, technical assistance, education, and outreach services.
  • Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability
    Families, friends and service providers share their stories about people living with disability in Tennessee.

Video, Podcast and Images

  • Pediatric Obesity: Diabetes Prevention in the Latino Population
    Shari Barkin, M.D., M.S.H.S., Marian Wright Edelman Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Division of General Pediatrics, presented at the Developmental Disability Grand Rounds, a monthly grand rounds series for clinicians, researchers, trainees, and students, on Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

In the News