What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which:
• Your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high
• You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right.
• There are 2 types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2
• People with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin shots (type 1 is sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes)
• Some people with type 2 diabetes have to take insulin, but many can just take pills and change their diet
• Both types of diabetes can cause serious long-term problems, like heart attacks and strokes
• There is no cure for diabetes, but you can manage it by taking insulin or other medicine and changing what you eat
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar is:
• Your body’s main source of energy
• Blood sugar isn't just from sugar that's in your drinks or that you put on food. Blood sugar comes from all sorts of food, like:
These and many other foods contain carbohydrates. Your body turns carbohydrates into blood sugar.
How does my body control blood sugar?
Your body controls how much sugar gets from your blood into your body’s cells by using:
Insulin is a hormone your body makes in the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ in your belly behind your stomach. After you eat, your body absorbs food and your blood sugar increases. Your pancreas senses the higher blood sugar and starts putting out insulin. The insulin tells your body's cells to take in sugar from the blood. When the blood sugar is at the right level, your pancreas stops putting out insulin.
What causes diabetes?
Diabetes involves a problem with insulin.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
• In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn't make insulin because the cells that make it were destroyed
• In type 2 diabetes your pancreas makes plenty of insulin but your body’s cells don’t respond to the insulin the way they should
Eating sugary foods doesn't give you diabetes. However, eating so much that you get very overweight can give you type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes usually develops before age 30, typically in children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age but is more common in people who:
• Are overweight or obese
• Are age 30 or older
• Have certain racial or ethnic backgrounds (in the United States: black, Asian, American Indian, or Hispanic get diabetes at a higher rate than whites)
• Have family members who have type 2 diabetes
Some women get type 2 diabetes during pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes symptoms often start suddenly. You may:
• Urinate (pee) a lot
• Be very thirsty and drink a lot
• Have belly pain (especially for children)
• Eat more than you usually do but still lose weight
• Have blurry vision
• Feel sleepy or sick to your stomach
For more information on diabetic education please call Mountainside Medical Clinic to help you understand and control diabetes well. Our priorities are our patient’s care needs and will work to achieve optimal health goal that is commonly shared between us and you as a patient.