What is Diabetes?

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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-lasting disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Your body either does not make enough insulin or it can not use the insulin it makes in the right way.

The most common types of diabetes are:

Type 1 Diabetes

This is when your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is when your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. If you have had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of having type 2 diabetes later in life.

Are You at Risk?

There are many risk factors that increase your chances of getting diabetes. This video will help you learn more.

Take Action, Get Screened!

Getting screened for diabetes is the first step in taking charge of your health. Screenings are tests that are done to find out if a disease is present in people that do not have any symptoms. Some screenings are:

  • Fasting Blood Sugar Test
  • A1C Test
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Random Blood Sugar Test
  • Prediabetes Risk Assessment Prevent or delay type 2 diabetes NOW. All it takes is 60 seconds! 

These types of tests can help your doctor identify prediabetes or diagnose type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The test results can also determine your average blood sugar over the past two to three months.

Talk to your doctor to see which test is right for you. Start with these questions to help you get the most out of your doctor’s visit.

Questions to Ask at My Doctor’s Appointment

I Have Diabetes- What Now?

Being diagnosed with diabetes can feel overwhelming. Although there is no cure for diabetes there are ways to manage your condition. Regardless of which type of diabetes you have taking your medicine, diet and exercise are powerful tools to help. All of these ways can help you control your blood sugar.

Take Your Medicine

Work with your doctor to see what medicines can help you keep your blood sugar in your target range. Some people take both pills and insulin or insulin by itself. Ask your doctor or pharmacist with help on how to take any new medicine that you have.

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy does not have to be hard. Making small doable goals is a good way to start.

Try these:

  • Eat many types of food. including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy foods, healthy fats, and lean meats or meat substitutes
  • Try not to eat too much food
  • Try not to eat too much of one type of food
  • Space your meals evenly throughout the day
  • Avoid skipping meals

Try some American Diabetes Association approved recipes! These are great recipes that will guide you on what types of food to eat.

Get Active

No matter which way you do it, any way you can get active can help lower your blood sugar. Here are some ways to get active:

  • Aerobic activity (walking, biking, swimming)
  • Being active throughout the day (taking the stairs instead of an elevator)
  • Strength training (lifting weights or using resistance bands)
  • Flexibility exercises (stretching and yoga)

Diabetes & COVID-19

Information about having COVID-19 and diabetes is still developing. Here are some answers to the questions that you may have. Diabetes and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions 

Youth Who Have Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in school-age youth in the United States. It affects about 193,000 youth under 20 years old. Youth who have diabetes need support with their diabetes care. It is important that you and your child’s health care team make a plan to manage their diabetes and adjust the diabetes self-care plan as needed.

Type 1 Diabetes Self-Care Manual

Life with Diabetes at MemorialCare

In times like these it is important to be apart of a network of doctors, nurses and health care professionals that care.

Managing Life with Diabetes at Memorial Care

Want to learn more? Send us and email at MCSelectQuality@memorialcare.org

Questions about MemorialCare Select Health Plan?

Call Us at (855) 367-7747