DIABETES

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes is a disease of the body's metabolism that alters its ability to make insulin. When you have diabetes, your body has difficulty processing fat, carbohydrates and protein efficiently.  

When we eat, our food is converted into sugar.  It  then travels in the blood stream throughout the body, supplying nourishment.  In a healthy individual, insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) regulates the metabolism by controlling glucose levels.  This process enables the sugar to move from the blood to the body's cells, where it is used for energy.

When you have diabetes, your body has difficulty making and/or responding to insulin. Consequently, your body does not receive the fuel it needs to carry on and sustain normal cellular functions.  This is why your blood sugar remains too high and you feel weak.  Depending on your type of diabetes, you may need insulin.
 


Test for blood sugar levels.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DIABETES?
  • TYPE 1 DIABETES:  If your body makes little or no insulin you have Type 1 Diabetes.  People with this form of the disease need insulin to live. It was once referred to as Juvenile Diabetes because it was usually diagnosed in children or young adults.

  • INSULIN RESISTANCE or (Poor Insulin Sensitivity):  In this form of the disease, your body produces insulin, however, it has difficulty getting glucose out of the blood.

  • PRE-DIABETES:  If you are insulin resistant and your blood sugar rises slightly, you are now classified as Pre-Diabetic.

  • TYPE 2 DIABETES:  If your blood sugar rises even higher, you have Type 2 Diabetes.



FACTS ABOUT DIABETES:
  • One out of ten Americans have diabetes.  For people over 60 one in five have the disease.

  • Adult onset diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes) is quickly reaching epidemic proportions in the United States.  An estimated 21 million Americans have the disease.  90% have Type 2 Diabetes.

  • 41 million Americans have blood sugar levels high enough to give them "impaired glucose tolerence" which is a milder form of diabetes, sometimes called Pre-Diabetes.

  • Common complications caused by diabetes are stroke, heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage or amputation of toes or limbs.


ARE YOU AT RISK FOR DIABETES?
 
The size of your waistline gives a reliable indication of your risk level for developing the disease.  If your waist line is 40 inches or greater for men, and 35 inches or greater for women, your risk for diabetes increases significantly.



The size of your waistline may indicate
your risk for diabetes. 

RISK FACTORS:
  • Family history of diabetes

  • Ethnic background - Hispanic Americans, African Americans & Native Americans are all at higher risk 

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood levels of triglycerides

  • HDL cholesterol less than 35

  • 45 years or older

  • Poor diet

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Overweight (especially around the waistline)

  • Impaired glucose tolerence

  • Diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to a baby over 9 pounds




WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS
& SYMPTOMS?
  • Excessive thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Feeling hungry all the time

  • Blurred vision

  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal.

  • Fatigue or feeling tired.  

  • Hands or feet that tingle or feel numb.

  • Most people with diabetes are not aware that they have these symptoms.

HOW CAN I PREVENT DIABETES?

  • Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable.

  • Type 2 Diabetes may be prevented by controlling your weight and avoiding obesity.  Eat healthy and stay active.

  • People 45 years or older should have their blood glucose tested every three years.  If you are in a high risk category, begin testing at a younger age and continue to do so more frequently.