Diabetes Management

Approximately 8% or 23.6 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 5.7 million people have diabetes and don't know it. 57 million people are pre-diabetic. More Hispanic/Latina, Black, Asian and Native Americans suffer from diabetes than does the white population.

Insulin is a hormone produced by an organ in the body called the pancreas. Insulin helps change sugars, starches and other foods into energy, the body uses this energy to function properly. Diabetes occurs when the body is not producing or using insulin properly. This results in high levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar).

About 5 to 10% of people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes most often occurs in children and young adults. This is the most serious form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body stops making insulin. The patient must receive insulin from shots or from an insulin pump attached to the body.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common. It results when the body is not using the insulin properly and/or is not producing enough insulin.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

  • A family history of diabetes - genetic link
  • Obesity
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Physical inactivity

How does diabetes impact a person's health?

Diabetes can lead to a number of serious complications. These include heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, and poor circulation that can lead to amputations of the legs or feet. Serious gum disease is also more common in people with diabetes.

  • Diabetics are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease than the general population.
  • Diabetics are at a 2 to 4 times increased risk of stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in U.S.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.

How are risk factors controlled?

Risk factors can be significantly improved by:

  • Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels
  • Monitoring and controlling lipid (cholesterol) levels in the blood
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Controlling high blood pressure
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

t is very important that patients with diabetes work closely with their provider to monitor and control their diabetes and take steps to live a healthy life.

To learn more about Diabetes go to: The American Diabetes Association