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When you have diabetes, there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Over time, if it is not controlled, diabetes can cause serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke and blindness. There is no cure for diabetes, but working with your physician, you can control it.

The providers at Norton Community Medical Associates – Endocrinology and Norton Community Medical Associates primary care offices treat more diabetic patients in the region than any other health system. Patients choose Norton Healthcare for the network of providers and support services, educators and classes.

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes means the amount of glucose in your blood is higher than normal. If you have prediabetes, you are at risk for serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes

People with Type 1 diabetes cannot make their own insulin, so they need to inject it daily. Insulin does not come in a pill. Some people use an insulin pump. They need to wear it at all times and it delivers a steady flow of insulin. Others may use a new type of inhaled insulin.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Overweight people are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes.The food you eat turns into glucose. Your blood carries glucose to other parts of the body. Your body depends on glucose for energy.

When you have diabetes, your body has trouble turning glucose into energy. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood. Since it isn’t converted into energy, you feel sluggish.

Type 2 diabetes may respond to treatment with exercise, diet and medication taken by mouth. There are several types of medicines used to lower blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes. You and your doctor will discuss which medication is best for you. Sometimes your doctor will prescribe insulin combined with other medication.

Am I at Risk for Diabetes?

You may be at risk for Type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are age 45 or older
  • Are overweight
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • Are African American, Hispanic or Latino American, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • Have had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Have had a baby with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
  • Have high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Exercise less than three times a week
  • Have a waist circumference greater than 30 inches

What Are the Signs of Diabetes?

Many people with diabetes do not know they have the disease. Some signs of diabetes include:

  • Being very thirsty or very hungry
  • Feeling tired for no reason
  • Urinating (going to the bathroom) more than usual
  • Losing weight for no reason
  • Having cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
  • Having trouble seeing (blurry vision)
  • Losing feeling or having tingling in your hands or feet

Not everyone who has diabetes has these signs. If you have any of these signs or think you may be at risk, talk with your doctor.

Prevention of Diabetes

Take these steps to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes:

  • Eat healthy to control your weight, lower your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.
  • Get active by planning for 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as walking fast or biking. Your doctor can help you choose the best activities for you.
  • Watch your weight. Losing 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can lower your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. If you weigh 200 pounds, 7 percent of your body weight is 14 pounds.

Get Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checked

Starting at age 18, get your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked often, especially if you are over age 40. Talk to a doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. Most men need their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. Women at risk for heart disease need their cholesterol checked every five years.

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