What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease where your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the body use the glucose from food for energy. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Diabetes can cause serious health complications and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
What are the types of Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes
- In type 2 diabetes the body does not make or use insulin well.
- People with type 2 often need to take pills or insulin.
- Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.
- Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
- Gestational diabetes may occur when a woman is pregnant.
- Gestational diabetes raises a woman’s risk of getting type 2 diabetes over the course of her life.
- It raises her child’s risk of being overweight and getting diabetes.
- American Diabetes Association recommends all pregnant women who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes get tested for gestational diabetes between 24-48 weeks.
- For women who have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, American Diabetes Association recommends testing for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit.
- Learn more about Gestational Diabetes.
What are the Risk Factors?
Risks You Can't Change
- Family history of Diabetes
- Race and ethnicity
- Having a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- History of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Risks you CAN Change
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
How can I prevent Diabetes?
- It is important that people with and without diabetes make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and be physically active every day.
- If you have prediabetes, getting type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be a sure thing. In fact, prediabetes can often be reversed. Join a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention lifestyle change program to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The program can also lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, improve your health overall, and help you feel more energetic.
How can I get tested?
What resources are available to help me manage my Diabetes?
If you are a health professional interested in the state-wide efforts to promote quality healthcare at the community, clinical, and patient levels please visit the Diabetes Connection website.