What is Diabetes?
Diabetes means that your blood glucose (sugar) is too high. Your blood always has some glucose in it because the body uses glucose for energy; it's the fuel that keeps you going. But too much glucose in the blood is not good for your health.
Your body changes most of the food you eat into glucose. Your blood takes the glucose to the cells throughout your body. The glucose needs insulin to get into the body's cells. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the glucose from food get into body cells. If your body does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work right, the glucose can't get into the cells, so it stays in the blood. This makes your blood glucose level high, causing you to have diabetes.
It is important to find out early if you have type 2 diabetes, because early treatment can prevent serious problems that diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
If you have two or more of the risk factors above, you should consider getting a blood test from a health care provider for diabetes.
Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you have prediabetes, you are 5 to15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. The vast majority of people with prediabetes do not know they have the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 of every 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes and half of all Americans aged 65 years and older have prediabetes.
If you have any of the following risk factors, you are more likely to develop prediabetes:
It is important to find out early if you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, because early treatment can prevent serious problems that diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.
If you have two or more of the risk factors above, you should consider getting a blood test from a health care provider for prediabetes and diabetes.
If your test results indicate you have prediabetes you should enroll in an evidence-based lifestyle program to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing 5% to 7% of their weight—that is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Weight loss should be achieved by making lasting lifestyle changes to improve nutrition and increase physical activity to 150 minutes each week.
Lifestyle change programs offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is led by CDC, can help participants adopt the healthy habits needed to prevent type 2 diabetes. Trained lifestyle coaches lead classes to help participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes.
The national registry of recognized diabetes prevention programs lists contact information for programs that offer type 2 diabetes prevention programs in Florida. This registry can be used by health care providers to refer patients to a local program. This registry can also help people who want to make a lifestyle change to prevent type 2 diabetes locate an organization offering the classes. www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/recognition/states/Florida.htm
If you have diabetes, you need diabetes self-management education (DSME).
Living and coping with diabetes can be difficult. You may feel angry, depressed, or alone. However, you can have a full and active life even though you have diabetes. Managing diabetes may not be easy but the benefits are worth the effort.
Diabetes self-management education gives you the skills and confidence you need to learn to manage your diabetes. People who learn to manage their diabetes from the start have fewer health problems from diabetes years later.
Ask your doctor to refer you to diabetes self-management education. Diabetes self-management education is covered by insurance. (A co-pay or deductible may be required.)
Find a DSME provider near you: