Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
- Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. The food we eat is turned into glucose or sugar for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.
- When you have diabetes, your body either can’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin successfully. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
- Diabetes can lead to other diseases such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations
What is prediabetes?
- The majority of people with type 2 diabetes initially had prediabetes, meaning that their blood glucose levels were higher than normal, but not high enough to indicate a diabetes diagnosis.
- People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Take the test to find out if you are at risk for pre-diabetes– Test, Do I have Pre-diabetes?
- Learn more about prediabetes.
When should I be tested for diabetes?
- Anyone aged 45 years or older should consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight
- If you are younger than 45 but are overweight or obese, you should also consider getting tested
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Sudden vision changes
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Very dry skin
- Sores that are slow to heal
- More infections than normal
- Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes. It accounts for 5% of all diagnosed cases.
- Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. It accounts for about 90-95% of all diagnoses cases.
- Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get.
Diabetes can cause serious health complications including:
- Heart disease.
- Kidney failure.
- Amputations of the foot or leg.
Types of Diabetes & Risk Factors:
Type 1 Diabetes
- In type 1 diabetes the body does not make insulin.
- People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.
- Learn more about type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 risk factors
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 2 risk factors
- Being older in age
- Being obese
- Having family history of diabetes
- Having prior history of gestational diabetes
- Having an impaired glucose tolerance
- Doing little physical activity
- Race/Ethnicity ( African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are particularly at risk for type 2 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.
Diabetes Prevention, Management, and Education
It is important that people with diabetes make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and be physically active every day.
- For resources on making lifestyle changes now, such as eating healthier foods and getting more physical activity, that can prevent type 2 diabetes, visit our Diabetes Prevention and Management page.
- If you are a health professional interested in our state-wide efforts to promote quality healthcare at the community, clinical, and patient levels please visit our Diabetes Connection website.