Diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels rise because your body either is not producing enough insulin and/or the body is unable to use it correctly.
Type 1 (5% of the cases of diabetes) the pancreas no longer makes insulin so blood glucose levels rise. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you must have insulin to survive. A healthy diet and exercise are also important.
Type 2 (95% of the cases of diabetes) you don’t make enough insulin or your body doesn’t use it correctly (insulin resistant). May be controlled with healthy diet/exercise, oral agents (pills),or a combination of oral agents and insulin.
The doctor will need to check you blood glucose level:
- Fasting glucose (you haven’t had anything to eat or drink, except water, for at least 8 hours) – 126 or greater
- A1C- (average glucose for 2-3 months) 6.5 or greater
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – The OGTT tests your glucose before and 2 hours after drinking a special sweetened drink. 200 or greater
Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
Recent data suggests that by the year 2050, 1 out of 3 people will have diabetes.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
- Having prediabetes
- Being 45 or older
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Being overweight
- Not exercising regularly
- Having high blood pressure
- Having low HDL, also known as "good" cholesterol and/or high levels of triglycerides
- Certain racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives)
- Women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing 9 pounds or more at birth
If you feel like you may have diabetes or prediabetes or be at high risk, speak with your doctor about getting tested. Know your glucose number!
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of the symptoms may not be obvious or people relate them to “getting older”. Recent studies indicate that early detection and treatment of diabetes can significantly decrease the chance of developing complications from diabetes.
Know the signs!
- Frequent urination (you may notice getting up at night more)
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Losing weight without trying
- Extreme fatigue and irritability
- Frequent infections
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that heal slowly
- Tingling/numbness in feet or hands
- Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
- If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, call you doctor’s office right away.
- No symptoms? You may still have diabetes
- Many times people with diabetes have no symptoms. Its ok to ask the doctor to check your glucose.