In the United States,
29.1 million people have diabetes and
8.1 million of those who have the disease are undiagnosed.
What is diabetes?
- Diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood, because your body no longer makes enough of a hormone called insulin, which helps sugar move from your blood into your cells to keep you healthy.
- When you don’t have enough insulin to lower high blood sugar levels, you have diabetes.
- You can’t catch diabetes and you can’t give it to someone else.
- Diabetes must be treated. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.
- A simple test by your healthcare provider can determine if you have diabetes.
When should people be tested for diabetes?
- Everyone over age 45 should be tested for diabetes, especially if they are overweight.
- People who are under 45 years of age and overweight have a higher risk for developing diabetes and should be screened.
How do I lower my risk for diabetes?
- If you are overweight, lose 5-7% of your body weight.
- Exercise 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
- Make healthy food choices, such as more fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
- Choose healthy portions of food.
What medications are available to treat diabetes?
- Diabetes is treated with a variety of medicines. Some are medicines you take by mouth, such as a tablet, others are injectable medicines including insulin.
Why is it important to prevent or treat diabetes?
- Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease or have a stroke.
- Diabetes can lead to blindness.
- Diabetes may cause permanent damage to your kidneys.
- Nerves in your hands and feet may become damaged and cause numbness, tingling, and pain.
- Diabetes may cause problems with your teeth and mouth.
- Diabetes doubles your risk for infection.