Author: Tiffany Young, Diabetes Program Manager
About one in 10 people in the United States has diabetes. That is roughly 34 million people. And 95% of those people have Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes means the human body does not use insulin properly. The journey for people with Type 2 Diabetes are all completely different, and it is important to understand some basic information about diabetes for your health as well as your loved ones health.
What are the risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes?
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, your cells do not respond to an important hormone called insulin, meaning you have “insulin resistance.” Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose get into your cells to be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Too much glucose then stays in your blood, and not enough reaches your cells. This is damaging to the body and can lead to other health problems such as heart and kidney disease.
You could potentially be at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes if you:
- Have pre-diabetes
- Are overweight
- Have a blood-related family member with Type 2 Diabetes
- Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Are rarely physically active
- Are over the age of 40
- Are African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American, Asian Indian or Pacific Islander
Signs and Symptoms of high blood sugar:
- Extreme Thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Dry Skin
- Blurred Vision
- Unintentional Weight Loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, your blood sugar may be high and you should seek medical help.
Next Steps to Take
If you fall under one or more of the above risk factors, the next step to take is to meet with your primary care doctor. They can properly diagnose you, as well as lead you on the right path to the care you need. NGHS offers a wide range of services for people with diabetes including an American Diabetes Association recognized Diabetes Education Program, Diabetes Support Groups, Pre-Diabetes Classes, as well as Prevent T2, our Diabetes Prevention Program. For more information, visit nghs.com/diabetes
- Diabetes Services
- www.diabetes.org (American Diabetes Association)