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Step 1: Learn about diabetes.

Diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. There are two main types of diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes – the body does not make insulin. Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.
  • Type 2 diabetes – the body does not make or use insulin well. People with type 2 often need to take pills or insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes – occurs in some women when they become pregnant. It raises her future risk of developing diabetes, mostly type 2. It may raise her child’s risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is serious.

You may have heard people say they have “a touch of diabetes” or that their “sugar is a little high.” These words suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it!

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!

All people with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and move more every day. Taking good care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel better. It may help you avoid health problems caused by diabetes such as:

  • heart attack and stroke
  • eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
  • nerve damage that can cause your hands and feet to hurt, tingle, or feel numb. Some people may even lose a foot or a leg.
  • kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
  • gum disease and loss of teeth

When your blood glucose is close to normal you are likely to

  • have more energy.
  • be less tired and thirsty and urinate less often.
  • heal better and have fewer skin, or bladder infections.
  • have fewer problems with your eyesight, feet, and gums.

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