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About Diabetes Previous Page


Diabetes is a group of diseases in which sugar levels in the bloodstream are above normal. It occurs when a person cannot produce (type 1) or properly use (type 2) insulin. Insulin is a hormone that moves the sugar out of the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy.

Quick Facts:

  • Diabetes is a risk factor for many serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness and kidney disease;
  • Affects African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics/Latinos more than other groups; and
  • Is controllable. People with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.


o Condition where sugar levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

o Increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke.

o Also known as "(IGT) impaired glucose tolerance" or "(IFG) impaired fasting glucose".

o Eating healthy food and being physically active lowers the risk of developing diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes:

o Appears suddenly in people, usually before age 20.

o High sugar levels caused by a total lack of insulin.

o Accounts for 5 to 10 percent of diabetes cases.

o Previously known as "juvenile-onset diabetes" or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).

o Is treated with daily insulin injections or use of an insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetes

o Condition in which the pancreas makes some insulin but the insulin is not used effectively.

o Usually develops gradually, mainly in adults but is increasing in children.

o Accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases.

o Previously known as "adult onset diabetes" or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

o Is controllable by diet, exercise, and daily monitoring of glucose levels. Sometimes treated with diabetes pills and/or insulin injections.

Gestational Diabetes:

o Occurs in the second half of a women's pregnancy.

o Appears in up to 5 percent of pregnancies and usually disappears when the pregnancy is over.

o Requires treatment to avoid complications in the baby.

o Poses an increased risk of later developing type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about your risk for developing diabetes and controlling your diabetes, click on the links below.


Last Updated: 02-15-2013

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