Diabetes 101?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition where your body does not produce enough insulin, or your body cannot use the insulin it produces. Your body needs insulin to change the sugar from food into energy. When you don't have enough insulin, the sugar levels over long periods of time can cause complications such as: damage to blood vessels, kidneys, and difficulties with circulation.


How many types of diabetes are there?

There are four types of diabetes. Type 1 - where the body makes little or no insulin. Type 2 - where the body makes insulin but cannot use it properly. Gestational Diabetes - where the body is not able to properly use insulin during pregnancy. Pre-diabetes - where the body is beginning to show signs of not being able to use insulin properly, but test results are not abnormal enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.


How do you get diabetes?

Not everyone has the same chance of developing diabetes. Type 1 We do not know why and how people get type 1, research continues. Type 2 You are overweight (especially if most of your weight is around your middle). You have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes. You have trouble dealing with life problems (stress). You have had a baby that weighed over 4 kg or 9 lbs. You had diabetes during your pregnancy. You are not active.


How do I know if I have diabetes?

You are often thirsty You go to the bathroom alot (urinate) You lose weight without knowing why You do not have much energy You have blurred vision You get more infections than usual You may have cuts and bruises that are slow to heal You have tingling or numbness in your hands or feet It is important to be tested regularly for diabetes if you have any of the signs listed above. The sooner you know if you have diabetes, the sooner you can take steps to help you live with diabetes. People with diabetes can live, long, healthy and happy lives.


What does smoking do to people with diabetes?

Smoking decreases the way blood flows through your body, it increases the chance of long term complications of diabetes including heart disease and amputations.


What should I do if I think I have diabetes?

You should call you health care provider and ask for them to test you for diabetes. Early detection of diabetes can reduce the risk of developing complications.


What are complications that are associated with diabetes?

Diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure, and non-traumatic amputations of the feet and legs. It doubles to quadruples the risk of heart attack or stroke. It can lead to disability and premature death.