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Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetes

A grouping of supplies for diabetes: insulin, a glucose meter and a syringe.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which sugar builds up in the blood. People with diabetes can have heart, kidney, eye problems and other related complications.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes mostly occurs in children and teens. The body doesn’t make any insulin at all. Type 2 diabetes mostly occurs in adults. The body still makes insulin, but not enough for what the body needs.

How do you get diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is caused by poor diet, excess weight, and not being physically active.

How can you treat diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. For type 2 diabetes, both insulin and pills can be used. Exercise, healthy eating and weight loss are also part of the treatment.

What is insulin?
Insulin is a chemical made in the pancreas. It helps control sugar levels in the blood.

What are some long term effects of diabetes?
Diabetes can lead to serious problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, nerve damage, and kidney disease. It is important to take care of yourself by taking your medicine, being active and eating a healthy diet.

What are risk factors for developing diabetes?
The causes and risks for type 1 diabetes are still unknown. The most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight. Other risks include older age, lack of exercise, family history, race (it’s more common in people of Aboriginal, African, Asian or Latin American descent) high blood pressure and cholesterol.

What are some ways to prevent getting type 2 diabetes?
The best way to try to prevent type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Other helpful things are to eat nutritious foods low in fat and sugar and to stay active through exercise. If you think you might be at risk for diabetes, you should talk to you doctor about the best way to prevent the disease.

How many people have diabetes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2007, 23.6 million people live with diabetes in the United States. But, there are many people living with the disease and they don’t even know it.

Is there a cure for diabetes?
Right now, there is no cure for diabetes. But, there are many treatments and medicines you can take, such as insulin. Treatment also includes weight loss, a good diet and being active.

 

 

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