It is serious and can develop at any age.
Diabetes is a disease that makes it hard for your body to keep normal blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar can cause heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and the need to remove a leg, foot, or toe from the body. It can also cause death.
How can I prevent diabetes?
What causes it?
Diabetes develops when your body does not make enough or any insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that works to keep your blood sugar levels normal. The chances of developing diabetes is higher if it runs in your family, you are overweight or obese, you don’t get enough exercise, you are not eating healthy or if you gain too much weight during pregnancy.
Type 1 diabetes happens when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body no longer uses insulin the right way and over time, makes less insulin and ends up not having enough.
Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy when the body does not make enough insulin because of pregnancy hormones that can make it hard for the body to use insulin the right way. Gestational diabetes often goes away once the baby is born. However, moms who had gestational diabetes and their babies are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
What are the symptoms?
Keep in mind that some people with diabetes don’t have any signs or symptoms. The only way to know if you have diabetes is by seeing your doctor or health care provider and taking a blood test.
- Urinating or needing to pee often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry (even though you’re eating)
- Losing weight without trying
- Feeling very tired
- Not seeing clearly in one or both eyes
- Cuts, bruises or sores that are slow to heal
- Dry, itchy skin
- Tingling, pain or loss of feeling in the hands or feet
How is it kept under control?
Diabetes is treated and kept under control by getting insulin shots, taking medications, eating healthy, getting enough exercise, controlling blood pressure and controlling cholesterol levels. Treatment can be different from person to person depending on their situation.
Is there a cure?
At this time, there is no cure but diabetes can be kept under control by working with your doctor and following the right treatment for your body.
Keep in mind that it is very important to see your doctor or health care provider regularly for checkups to help prevent or find any case of diabetes early and prevent serious health problems.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider for more information.
If you don’t have a doctor, find a health center near you.
– Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases web site. 1.usa.gov/1XJ0iZ7. Accessed March 29, 2016.
– Diabetes Symptoms. American Diabetes Association web site. bit.ly/KarS0h. Accessed March 29, 2016.