Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have "prediabetes"—blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. There are 79 million people in the United States who have prediabetes. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during prediabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
- Type 2 diabetes: while the body produces insulin, it cannot properly use the hormone (a condition known as insulin resistance). In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.
- Gestational diabetes: During pregnancy -- usually around the 24th week -- many women develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. But it's important to follow your doctor's advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you're planning your pregnancy, so you and your baby both remain healthy.
The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. Risk factors that may cause diabetes include:
- high blood pressure
- high fat diet
- high alcohol intake
- sedentary/inactive lifestyle
- high cholesterol
- age progression
- family history
The CCCHD provides blood sugar screenings at our offices on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We recommend a fasting screening for higher accuracy; try not to eat or drink anything except water 8 hours before your screening. The procedure is free, and it serves as an effective way to detect high blood sugar early so that you can take steps to improve your health.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, our Diabetes Support Group gives you the opportunity to get connected with a supportive community. The group meets the second Thursday of the month at our office at 6 p.m. Call 399-2236 or 390-5600 for more details, or you can visit the Support Group’s webpage for updates and monthly topics.
Want even more diabetes resources? We also offer glucometers for purchase at our offices, as well as educational presentations for your workplace, community group or other gathering. Contact our office phone at 937-390-5600 for more details.
For additional information on diabetes visit these websites:
- American Diabetes Association
- Clark Champaign Diabetes Association
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention