What is diabetes?
Diabetes means that yourblood glucose (blood sugar)is too high. Glucose comesfrom the food we eat. Anorgan called the pancreas(PAN-kree-as) makes insulin(IN-suh-lin). Insulin helpsglucose get from your bloodinto your cells. Cells takethe glucose and turn it intoenergy.When you have diabetes,your body has a problemmaking or properly usinginsulin. As a result, glucosebuilds up in your blood andcannot get into your cells. If the blood glucose stays toohigh, it can damage yourbody.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
• Having to urinate often.• Being very thirsty.• Feeling very hungry or tired.• Losing weight without trying.
But many people with
diabetes have no symptomsat all.
Why should I be concernedabout diabetes?
Diabetes is a very seriousdisease. Do not be misled byphrases that suggest diabetesis
a serious disease,such as “a touch of sugar,”“borderline diabetes,” or “myblood glucose is a little bithigh.”Diabetes can lead to otherserious health problems.When high levels of glucose in the blood are notcontrolled, they can slowlydamage your eyes, heart,kidneys, nerves, and feet.
What are the types of diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes—
In thistype of diabetes, thebody does not makeinsulin. People with type1 diabetes need to takeinsulin every day.
Type 2 diabetes—
In thistype of diabetes, the bodydoes not make enoughinsulin or use insulin well.Some people with type2 diabetes have to takediabetes pills, insulin, orboth. Type 2 diabetes isthe most common form of diabetes.
Thistype of diabetes canoccur when a womanis pregnant. It raises therisk that both she andher child might developdiabetes later in life.3