Preventing and Managing Diabetes

What is diabetes?testing blood
  • Your body changes the food you eat into sugar, which it uses for energy.
  • Diabetes is a health condition that causes sugar to build up in your blood, instead of being used by your body.

If you have diabetes, your cells cannot use sugar for energy.

  • The body is able to use sugar by making a chemical called ‘insulin.’
  • Insulin controls the amount of sugar in your blood.
  • If you have diabetes, you do not have enough insulin, or the insulin is not working in the correct way.
There are two types of diabetes.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make any insulin.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes
    • Your body does not make enough insulin, or
    • Your body does make insulin, but does not use it correctly.
Anyone can get diabetes.
  • Diabetes is very common.
  • But, you are more likely to develop diabetes if you:
    • Are overweight or obese
    • Are over the age of 40
    • Have a family history of diabetes
    • Are African-American, Hispanic, or Native American
Diabetes can make you very sick.
  •  Too much or too little sugar in your blood could cause you to lose consciousness.
  • Over time, diabetes can lead to:
    • Damage to your nerves or kidneys
    • Eye trouble, including blindness
    • Unhealthy feet, or even having your foot or leg removed
    • Heart disease
You may be able to tell if you are developing diabetes.
  • Some common symptoms of diabetes are:
    • Constant hunger and/or thirst
    • Needing to urinate more than usual
    • Frequent vaginal infections
    • Feeling tired
    • Sleeping more than usual
More signs of diabetes:
  • Other commons symptoms are:
    • Blurry vision
    • Numb or tingling hands or feet
    • Cuts or sores that do not heal
    • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
If you notice these signs, see your doctor right away!
  • Your doctor will be able to tell if you are developing diabetes.
    • Your doctor will test the amount of sugar that is in your blood.
    • If your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, this may mean that you have diabetes.
You can manage diabetes and stay healthy.Lunch Bag
  • Managing diabetes means learning to control the amount of sugar in your blood.
  • Your doctor will give you advice, which may include:
    • A special food plan
    • An exercise plan
    • Blood sugar tests
    • Medication
Your support provider can help you manage diabetes.
  • Managing diabetes can be complicated. You may need to:
    • plan and cook special meals
    • remember when to take your medication, or need help taking medication.
    • Ask for help if you need it!
You can talk to your doctor about managing diabetes.
  • You may need to change your diet from time to time.
  • Find out if a physical activity that you enjoy is safe for you, and exercise for 30 minutes each day.
  • Test your blood sugar often and know what the normal level should be.
  • Know when and how to take your medications.
If you do not have diabetes, you may be able to prevent it.
  • You can prevent type 2 diabetes by:
    • Exercising regularly (30 minutes on most days)
    • Keeping a healthy weight
    • Eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and nuts
    • Eating less sugary foods, fast foods, and soda
You can learn more.
Check out these other resources as well!