DIABETES FAQ

  • Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes?

    A: Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

    • Type 1 Diabetes
      • Frequent urination
      • Unusual thirst
      • Extreme hunger
      • Unusual weight loss
      • Extreme fatigue and Irritability
    • Type 2 Diabetes
      • Any of the type 1 symptoms
      • Frequent infections
      • Blurred vision
      • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
      • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
      • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
    • Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms

    If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away. You can also take the American Diabetes Association’s Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for diabetes.

  • Q: What is the difference between type 1 & type 2 diabetes?

    A: Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Only 5-10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives.

    Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

    In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.

  • Q: What is pre-diabetes and how is it different from diabetes?

    A: Pre-diabetes is the state that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. About 11 percent of people with pre-diabetes in the Diabetes Prevention Program standard or control group developed type 2 diabetes each year during the average 3 years of follow-up. Other studies show that many people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes in 10 years.

  • Q: Is pre-diabetes the same as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose?

    A: Yes. Doctors sometimes refer to this state of elevated blood glucose levels as Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IGT/IFG), depending on which test was used to detect it.

  • Q: Why do I need to know if I have pre-diabetes?

    A: If you have pre-diabetes, you can and should do something about it. Studies have shown that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent through changes to their lifestyle that include modest weight loss and regular exercise. The expert panel recommends that people with pre-diabetes reduce their weight by 5-10 percent and participate in some type of modest physical activity for 30 minutes daily. For some people with pre-diabetes, intervening early can actually turn back the clock and return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range.

  • Q: What is an A1C Test? Why is it important?

    A: The A1C test measures your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months.

    It is determined by measuring the percentage of glycated hemoglobin, or HbA1c, in the blood.

    Check your A1C twice year at a minimum, or more frequently when necessary.

    It does not replace daily self-testing of blood glucose hecking your blood glucose at home with a meter tells you what your blood sugar level is at any one time, but suppose you want to know how you're doing overall. The A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.

    In some ways, the A1C test is like a baseball player's season batting average, it tells you about a person's overall success. Neither a single day's blood test results nor a single game's batting record gives the same big picture.

  • Q: What is the Faces of Diabetes campaign?

    A: The goal of the Faces of Diabetes campaign is to collect and share stories of living with diabetes. This online "mentoring" program is focused on bringing hope, understanding, and acceptance to all people whose lives have been affected by this disease.

    We will regularly post new stories that offer fresh perspectives, personal stories, and helpful advice. We also encourage our viewers to add to the discussion, by sharing their own story (video or text), taking our survey in the feedback section, or leaving comments on the videos themselves or in our comment thread in the feedback section.

  • Q: Where can I learn more?

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