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Diabetes & You

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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. A lot of what you eat turns into sugar (glucose) and goes into your blood. As your blood sugar goes up your body produces insulin to let the blood sugar go into cells to produce energy. If you have diabetes your body doesn’t produce insulin (Type 1) or the cells don’t respond to insulin (Type 2), so too much sugar stays in your blood. Over time this can cause damage to your eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.

Who is at risk?

  • If you have a family history of diabetes and you are a teen or young adult (Type 1) or 45 or older (Type 2)
  • If you have prediabetes – high normal blood sugars
  • If you are overweight
  • If you are physically active less than 3 times per week
  • If you develop diabetes while you are pregnant.
  • If you are of African American or Hispanic/ Latino American descent

Should I bring someone with me?

It is always a good idea to have someone you trust come with you. Sometimes when we get to the doctor, we get nervous and don’t always hear what the doctor is saying. Having a second pair of ears helps. Also, that person can help you remember all your questions and give you support during an exam the doctor may need to do.

How can I tell if I have diabetes?

Diabetes can cause many different symptoms:

  • Urinating a lot
  • Being thirsty all the time
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Being hungry all the time
  • Having lots of infections
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Having blurry vision
  • Having numbness and tingling in your hands and feet
  • Feeling tired all the time

There are tests to tell if you have diabetes, ask your doctor which one is right for you

  • A1C Test
  • Fasting Blood Sugar test
  • Glucose Screening test
  • Glucose Tolerance test

How is diabetes managed?

Education on how to manage diabetes is very important, talk to a Diabetic Educator

  • Eat well – diabetes meal planning is the key to managing blood sugar
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Exercise to make your body more sensitive to insulin and get you to a healthy weight

Manage your blood sugar (BS) 

  • Routine checks for BS levels are when you wake up, before a meal, 2 hours after a meal and at bedtime but ask your Doctor how often you need to check your BS
  • Take the medications your doctor prescribes to treat high or low blood sugar and to prevent complications
  • Prevent complications
  • Keep your blood sugar at target levels – get an A1C test at least twice a year
  • Get an annual eye exam to prevent eye complications
  • Check your feet daily to look for sores
  • If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, follow your doctor’s treatment plan

Where can I find more information?

Or ask your Care Management Team PHP to help you find the information you need!