WHAT IS DIABETES?

Whit Diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it as well as it should

Diabetes is a chronic (long- lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. 

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body's cells for use as energy. 

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin it  makes as well as it should. When there isn't enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. 

There isn't a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self- management education and support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life. 

Prediabetes

In the United States, 96 million adults- more than 1 in 3- have prediabetes. What's more, more than 8 in 10 of them don't know they have it. Whit prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. 

Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is if you have prediabetes, a CDC- recognized lifestyle change program can help you take healthy steps to reverse it.

Types of Diabetes

There are three main types of Diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type of diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It's usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. 
     

  • Type 2 Diabetes: With this type of diabetes, your body doesn't use insulin well and can't keep blood sugar at normal levels. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults. 
     

  • Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. 

Diabetes Symptoms

If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:
 

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night.

  • Are very thirsty.

  • Lose weight without trying. 

  • Are very hungry.

  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet.

  • Feel very tired.

  • Have very dry skin.

  • Have sores that heal slowly.

  • Have more infections than usual.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes: People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be serve.
 

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people don't notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when you're an adult. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it's important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes usually doesn't have any symptoms. If you're pregnant , your doctor should test you for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. 

Manage Blood Sugar

It's important to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible to help prevent or delay long term, serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Staying in your target range can also help improve your energy and mood. Find answers below to common questions about blood sugar for people with diabetes. 

How can I check my blood sugar? 

Use a blood sugar meter (also called glucometer) or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM,  you'll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate. 

When should I check my blood sugar?

How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines. 
 

Typical times to check your blood sugar include:

  • When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.

  • Before a meal.

  • Two hours after a meal.

  • At bedtime

Consult a doctor for medical advice or visit us at PEOPLE CARE INSTITUTE for more information

 

Note: The information you see here is general and describes what usually happens with a medical condition, but doesn't apply to everyone. This information IS NOT  a substitute for professional medical advice, so please make sure to contact a healthcare provider if you have a medical problem.