Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems.
Prediabetes is a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. One in three American adults has prediabetes, and most do not even know they have it. If you have prediabetes and do not lose weight or do moderate physical activity, you may develop type 2 diabetes within three years.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t use its own insulin as well as it should and sugar builds up in your blood.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition. It can lead to health issues such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet or legs.
You are at an increased risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are 45 years of age or older
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Are physically active fewer than 3 times per week or
- Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.
If you think you may be at risk, a health care provider can do a blood test to see if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
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Journey to Wellness
Journey to Wellness is a free year-long lifestyle change program that will give you the tools you need to lose weight and become a healthier you. Learn how to reduce your risk of future health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Learn more about Journey to Wellness and register online.