What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy.
Diabetes falls into two main categories: type 1, which usually occurs during childhood or adolescence; and, type 2, the most common form of the disease which typically occurs after age 45, although there is an alarming increase in children and young adults with type 2 disease.
Approximately 9% of all women in the U.S. have diabetes. Unfortunately about a third of them do not know they have the disease.
Prevalence of diabetes is at least 2 to 4 times higher among African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander women than among Anglo-American women.
Gestational diabetes develops in up to 5% of all pregnancies. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Women and men with diabetes are nearly eight times as likely to suffer peripheral vascular disease, a disorder resulting in reduced blood flow and oxygen to tissues in feet and legs.
Women and men with diabetes have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Being overweight or obese
Belonging to specific ethnic groups (see above)
High blood pressure (140/90 or above)
Family history of diabetes
Having gestational diabetes or having a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
Signs and Symptoms
Dry, itchy skin
Sometimes there are no symptoms of diabetes. If you have risk factors you need to be checked regularly.
Early diagnosis and compliance with medical advice can significantly improve the prognosis for someone with diabetes. Treatment will include diet and exercise. Medication and/or insulin may be necessary depending on several patient specific factors.
The risk of having type 2 diabetes can be reduced through lifestyle modifications including weight control, a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Family and internal medicine specialists
Diabetic teaching including personal consultation and monthly programs
Twenty-four hour emergency room and intensive care services
Wound care and other rehabilitation services
Health Professionals by Specialty
American Diabetes Association
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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