Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. This blood glucose comes from the food you eat. It needs to get into your cells to make energy. However, diabetes is when insulin, the hormone that helps bring this sugar into your cells to make energy, is

  • Not made by your body
  • Your body doesn’t make enough
  • Your body does not make it well.

This means that the glucose stays in your blood and does not reach your cells to make energy.

Type 1 DiabetesYour body does not make insulin. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and requires these people to take insulin every day.

Type 2 Diabetes Your body does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, most commonly occurring in middle-aged and older people.

Although diabetes is not curable, it can be treated and managed with proper medication. However, diabetes can lead to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage and more.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes are based on a combination of factors such as genes and lifestyle. These risk factors include:

  • Prediabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • High blood pressure, etc.

Healthy lifestyle changes and habits such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, getting regular exercise and not smoking can help to prevent diabetes.

How to Participate in American Diabetes Month

  • Take the Risk Test
  • Learn the Facts
    • Educate yourself on common myths and misconceptions about the disease.
  • Become an Advocate
    • Speak out and dispel myths about diabetes by educating those around you.
  • Donate
    • Help to fund Diabetes research for prevention, cure and management.


Sources: American Diabetes Association. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Digestive Kidney Diseases. Medline Plus. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.

Experiencing symptoms of diabetes or have risk factors? Calculate your risk of developing the disease.