Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your bodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cells for use as energy.
With diabetes, your body doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make enough insulin or canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use it as well as it should. When there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
There isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Other things you can do to help:
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). This reaction stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
With type 2 diabetes, your body doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use insulin well and canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults). You may not notice any symptoms, so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to get your blood sugar tested if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as:
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. However, it increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen and develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include:
Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:
If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease you may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes.
If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:
People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe. Type 1 diabetes usually starts when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a child, teen, or young adult but can happen at any age.
Type 2 diabetesÃ‚Â symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re an adult, though more and moreÃ‚Â children and teensÃ‚Â are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to know theÃ‚Â risk factorsÃ‚Â for type 2 diabetes. Make sure to visit your doctor if you have any of them.
Yes! You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changesÃ¢â‚¬â€such as losing a small amount of weight and getting more physically activeÃ¢â‚¬â€even if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at high risk. Read on to find out about CDCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lifestyle change program and how you can join.
Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people haveÃ‚Â prediabetes; their blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes is really common. The good news is thatÃ‚Â prediabetes can be reversed.