Dia­betes is increas­ing at an alarm­ing rate in the Unit­ed States. Accord­ing to the CDC’s (Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol) Nation­al Dia­betes Sta­tis­tics Report for 2020 cas­es of dia­betes have risen to an esti­mat­ed 37 mil­lion (or 1 in 10 peo­ple in the U.S.).  Novem­ber is Nation­al Dia­betes Month and is a great time to bring atten­tion to this dis­ease and its impact on mil­lions of Americans.

What is Diabetes?

Dia­betes is a chron­ic health con­di­tion that affects how your body con­verts food to ener­gy. With dia­betes, the body either no longer makes insulin or the insulin that is made no longer works as well as it should.  Either way, high lev­els of glu­cose (a form of sug­ar) build up in the blood.  When this hap­pens, your body can respond in some seri­ous ways that include liv­er dam­age, stroke, heart dis­ease, vision loss, kid­ney dis­ease and dam­age to the feet or legs.

Most Common Types of Diabetes
  • Type 1 – usu­al­ly diag­nosed in chil­dren and teens. Type 1 dia­bet­ics need to take insulin every day to survive.
  • Type 2 – devel­ops over many years and is usu­al­ly diag­nosed in adults (but is devel­op­ing more today in chil­dren and teens also). With Type 2 dia­betes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sug­ar at nor­mal levels.
  • Ges­ta­tion­al Dia­betes – devel­ops in preg­nant women who have nev­er had diabetes.
7 Warning Signs of Diabetes
  1. Fre­quent Urination
  2. Increased Thirst or Dry Mouth
  3. Unex­pect­ed Weight Loss
  4. Per­sis­tent Hunger
  5. Foot Pain and Numbness
  6. Fatigue
  7. Blurred Vision
Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 dia­betes, also known as juve­nile dia­betes, occurs when the body does not pro­duce insulin.  Insulin is a hor­mone respon­si­ble for break­ing down the sug­ar in the blood for use through­out the body.  Peo­ple liv­ing with type 1 dia­betes need to admin­is­ter insulin with injec­tions or an insulin pump.

There is no cure for type 1 dia­betes.  Once a per­son receives their diag­no­sis, they will need to reg­u­lar­ly mon­i­tor their blood sug­ar lev­els, admin­is­ter insulin, and make some lifestyle changes to help man­age the condition.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 dia­betes, the most com­mon type of dia­betes, occurs when your cells don’t respond nor­mal­ly to insulin, which is known as insulin resis­tance. You can devel­op type 2 dia­betes at any age but it occurs most often in mid­dle-aged and old­er peo­ple and tends to appear grad­u­al­ly. In most cas­es, med­ica­tion along with changes in exer­cise and diet can help man­age type 2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes is a con­di­tion in which a hor­mone made by the pla­cen­ta pre­vents the body from using insulin effec­tive­ly.  Unlike type 1 dia­betes, ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by oth­er hor­mones pro­duced dur­ing preg­nan­cy that can make insulin less effec­tive.  Ges­ta­tion­al dia­bet­ic symp­toms dis­ap­pear fol­low­ing deliv­ery but ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes increas­es your risk for type 2 dia­betes lat­er in life.


There is good news for those liv­ing with dia­betes – and those at risk. Experts are learn­ing more all the time about lifestyle steps for dia­betes con­trol and pre­ven­tion.  New med­ica­tions and devices can also help you con­trol your blood sug­ar and pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions. For more infor­ma­tion on dia­betes and how to make good choic­es, vis­it the Amer­i­can Dia­betes Asso­ci­a­tion website.