What Is Diabetes
is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food
into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a
mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and
lack of exercise appear to play roles.
Nearly 21 million Americans, or 7% of the population, have diabetes.
Unfortunately, more than 6 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware
they have the disease. To determine if a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes,
health care providers conduct a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, hemoglobin
A1C, or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Diabetes no longer has to mean blindness, kidney failure, heart disease,
stroke, nerve damage, amputations, impotence, or early death. Good
self-management of blood sugar through food, medication, exercise and stress
management effectively prevents or significantly reduces the complications of
Signs and RisksWarning Signs:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes*
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and irritability
- Any of the type 1 symptoms
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms
Uncontrolled high blood glucose can lead to the following:
For more information about the Diabetes Resource
Institute at Catholic Medical Center,
call (603) 663-6431.
complications: glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy
damage: neuropathies can occur causing numbness and tingling in feet, trouble
walking, pain in calves
damage: nephropathy can occur when blood pressure and blood glucose are not in
disease (heart and blood vessel): leading to heart attack or stroke