When someone has diabetes, their body can't use the energy from the food they eat. Their body has a problem making and using insulin, a hormone that helps the body use blood sugar. With diabetes, sugar builds up in the blood because it cannot be used. Sugar stays in the blood leading to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, and over a long period of time can result in serious health problems. By keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible, people with diabetes can lower their chances of having:
- Eye problems
- Kidney problems
- Foot and/or leg amputation
- Heart attack and stroke
- Sexual problems
Symptoms of diabetes include increase thirst, increased urination, feeling tired, and numbness or tingling in hands or feet.
There are two main types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, insulin shots are required to control blood sugar since the body makes little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body usually makes insulin but cannot use it well. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with proper meal planning and exercise, oral medicines, and/or insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and is more likely to occur in people who:
- Are over 40 years of age
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Have had diabetes during a pregnancy
- Have given birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds
- Have the stress of an illness or injury
- Have high blood pressure
- Are African American, Hispanic American or Native American
Gestational diabetes occurs in about 3-5% of pregnant women. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about gestational diabetes.
MetroPlus and your doctor can help you manage your diabetes. For more information on MetroPlus DiabetesCare Management Program, call 1.800.303.9626, TTY: 1.800.881.2812, Monday - Saturday, Care Managers available 9 am - 5 pm.
For more information, click the appropriate link:
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes and Depression Might Be Linked
Benefits of Exercise for Diabetics
Healthy Eating tips for Diabetics
American Dietetic Association
NYC Health + Hospitals Diabetes Wellness Center
NYC Health + Hospitals Diabetes Care Centers
National Diabetes Education Program
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases