Frequently Asked Questions
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar gets too high because your body has trouble producing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that your body makes. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar. You need insulin to be able to use this sugar for growth and energy.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Frequent need to urinate (especially at night)
What are the different types of diabetes?
There are 4 major types of diabetes. These include Pre-diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.
- Pre-diabetes: Some people are considered to have Pre-diabetes. These people have hight blood sugar but not high enough to be called diabetic. Pre-diabetics can avoid becoming diabetic! This type of diabetes can be prevented by proper diet, weight control and exercise!
- Type 1 Diabetes: This diabetes used to be called ‘juvenile diabetes’. It develops most often in children and young adults, but can appear at any age. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not make any insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin.
- Type 2 Diabetes: In Type 2 diabetes the body is not able to use insulin the way it should or it does not make enough insulin. It is also called “adult onset diabetes” or “insulin resistance”. Most people, who have diabetes, have Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes may or may not take insulin or pills. diet and exercise can help control Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational Diabetes: Women who have high blood sugar only when they are pregnant have gestational diabetes.
How can I prevent diabetes?
People can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week and healthier eating.
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 and have one or more additional risk factors, you should consider testing. If you want to know what is considered overweight for you, calculate your BMI at www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors are less well defined for type 1 diabetes than for type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in developing this type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40% of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.
How can I manage my diabetes?
When you have diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stick to daily routines that involve regular exercise, good nutrition, diabetic screening tests, and regular visits to your doctor.
Recommended diabetic screening tests:
- An HgA1c test to check blood sugar levels
- A blood cholesterol test, including lipids
- A urine test to check for protein and albumin levels
- At each doctor visit, you should also have your:
- Blood pressure checked
- A foot exam without shoes or socks
- Yearly eye exam
To find out more about Diabetes you can visit the websites listed below:
Michigan Diabetes Outreach Network:
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases:
Children with Diabetes:
If you would like to speak with a nurse regarding more information about Diabetes, please call Total Health Care at 1-800-826-2862 or enroll in our free Diabetes Disease Management Program online.