Overview

Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.


Basics

What is diabetes?
  • Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. The food we eat is turned into glucose or sugar for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.
  • When you have diabetes, your body either can’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin successfully. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
  • Diabetes can lead to other diseases such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.
What is prediabetes?
  • The majority of people with type 2 diabetes initially had prediabetes, meaning that their blood glucose levels were higher than normal, but not high enough to indicate a diabetes diagnosis.
  • Frequent urination
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
  • Thirstiness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than normal
  • Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes. It accounts for 5% of all diagnosed cases.
  • Type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. It accounts for about 90-95% of all diagnoses cases.
  • Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get.
Risk Factors for Diabetes

Type 1 (Less well defined than other types of diabetes)-

  • Autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors

Type 2-

  • Being older in age
  • Being obese
  • Having family history of diabetes
  • Having prior history of gestational diabetes
  • Having an impaired glucose tolerance
  • Doing little physical activity
  • Race/Ethnicity ( African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are particularly at risk for type 2 diabetes)
Gestational
  • Tends to occur more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes.
  • Obesity
When should I be tested for diabetes?
  • Anyone aged 45 years or older should consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight
  • If you are younger than 45 but are overweight or obese, you should also consider getting tested

What is Diabetes?


Spokane or Washington Specific Data


Recommendations

Treatment for diabetes

Type 1-

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Insulin injections

Type 2

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Blood glucose testing
 Prevention
  • Moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of the disease
  • See resources from the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention for information on living a healthy life: Eat Right and Be Active.

Related Facts

29.1 million People in the United States have diabetes, 8.1 million are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. (Healthline)

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