General diabetes information
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-lasting (chronic) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
When we eat food, most of it is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it tells 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 blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. This can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
While there isn’t a cure for diabetes certain actions taken can help manage the disease. Losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active will contribute to your overall health. Additionally, medication, getting diabetes self-management education, support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes.
Understanding the different types of diabetes
Prediabetes: Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is above normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes increases the risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is, with healthy lifestyle changes, you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Take action; watch this video to find out more about what you can do.
Type 1 diabetes: When you have type 1 diabetes, your body can’t process blood sugar. Too much sugar in your blood can cause serious health problems. Watch and learn more about type 1 diabetes and how to stay healthy.
Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is more common in adults, but you can get it at any age. Find out what causes type 2 diabetes and what you need to do to keep it in check.