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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious disease in which the body does not properly breakdown food for energy. Most of the food that we eat is broken down into sugar/glucose, for the body to use as energy. When a person has diabetes, the body either doesn't make insulin or cannot use insulin as well as it should. Since insulin is produced in the pancreas and helps get sugar/glucose into the cells of the body, when it is not working properly a buildup of sugar/glucose occurs in the blood, causing high blood glucose.

When diabetes is not managed properly, it can cause complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage, and loss of toes, feet and even legs. Diabetes can be controlled by working with a physician to keep blood sugar/glucose levels within a normal range, eating well and being physically active. It is when steps are taken to control diabetes that the risk of developing complications may become lower.

Use the links below to learn more about diabetes and what you can do to prevent it.

Type 1 Diabetes – is typically diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile onset diabetes. It is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin. There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed with the help of insulin therapy or other treatments. 

Prediabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal (between 100-125 mg/dl) but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Individuals that are diagnosed with prediabetes places them at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes along with other health problems such as heart disease and stroke. However, making healthy choices such as eating healthy, exercising, and weight loss has been shown to reverse prediabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes, previously known as adult-onset diabetes type 2 diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes and accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of diagnosed diabetes. It occurs most often in middle aged and older people when blood glucose levels rise higher than normal, due to the body not using insulin properly or not making insulin at all.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a condition that occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before, but who have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually disappears after the birth of the baby, if is it left unmanaged during pregnancy it can hurt both mom and baby. Women who have had GDM have a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years.


Last Updated: 2/16/2017