About Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which sugar (glucose) remains in the blood rather than entering the body's cells to be used for energy. This results in high blood sugar. Over time, high blood sugar can damage many body systems. 

Diabetes is treated with healthy eating, lifestyle changes, and medicines. If blood sugar levels are kept within the recommended range, the risk for many complications from diabetes decreases. 

Older woman checking her blood sugar levels
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Risk and prevention

Things you can do to maintain healthy blood sugar levels 

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Symptoms & treatment

Learn how to monitor your blood sugar and how diabetes is treated 

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How to properly care for yourself when you are diagnosed with diabetes 

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Understanding diabetes

Who is at risk of diabetes?


  • People who are overweight or get little or no exercise. 
  • Have type 1 or type 2 diabetes in your family. 
  • Eat a diet that isn’t healthy for them.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk. 
  • Women who had gestational diabetes are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. 
  • Having type 1 diabetes in your family.
  • White people have a greater risk than Black, Asian, or Hispanic people of getting type 1 diabetes.  
What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and frequent urination (especially at night); unexplained increase in appetite; unexplained weight loss; fatigue; erection problems; blurred vision; and tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands or feet. 

What are the effects of diabetes?

People who have high blood sugar over a long period of time are at increased risk for many serious health problems, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart problems, eye problems that can lead to blindness, circulation and nerve problems, and kidney disease and kidney failure. 

What are the differences between diabetes types 1 & 2?
  • Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that develops when the pancreas stops making insulin. The body needs insulin to let sugar (glucose) move from the blood into the body’s cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later use. 

  • Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops when the body’s tissues cannot use insulin properly. Over time, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use sugar (glucose) for energy. It also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells.