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Diabetes FAQ Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version Share

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes results when the pancreas is unable to produce adequate insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone that carries glucose, (blood sugar) out of the blood into the cells where it is used for energy. If you are unable to produce adequate insulin or you are unable to use your insulin effectively, (insulin resistance); you will develop hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.

Diabetes is a chronic, long-term disease that can lead to:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure
  • Blindness
  • Loss of Limb

Are there different types of Diabetes?

Yes, people with Type 1 Diabetes require daily injections of insulin, (a hormone) to control their blood sugar. People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make sufficient insulin on their own. 5-10% of all people diagnosed with diabetes fall into this category.

People with Type 2 Diabetes may not make adequate insulin, but they usually have "insulin resistance", an inability to effectively utilize the insulin they are making. Type 2 diabetics can be managed through diet, exercise, and sometimes with the use of medication and insulin. Approximately 90-95% of all people diagnosed with diabetes fall into this category.

Can I have diabetes and not know it? Yes, for many people diabetes is a symptom-less disease. You may not know you have diabetes because not all people experience symptoms. Symptoms of high blood sugar are fatigue, increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, blurred vision, dry skin and nausea.

Who is at greatest risk for diabetes?

  • People with a family history.
  • People who are overweight, especially if they carry their weight in the stomach.
  • All ethnic groups, including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans.
  • Mothers who had large babies or gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

How can I find out if I have diabetes?
Go to your doctor and have your doctor test for diabetes. The tests for diabetes include:

  • A Fasting blood glucose
  • A Random blood glucose
  • An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

What is the treatment for Diabetes?
The treatment for Diabetes includes education. In order to manage your diabetes, you must test your blood sugars daily. Therefore, you need to learn how to use a blood sugar monitor. You may need to make some lifestyle changes, such as increasing your activity level and reducing food portions and carbohydrates. Some people with diabetes need to take medications and/or insulin.

Sarasota Memorial's Diabetes Treatment Services (DTS) provides comprehensive educational programs. Support groups are also available to those who have attended the outpatient diabetes programs. Ask your doctor to refer you to our program.

If you wish to learn more about DTS, please call us for an appointment.

Diabetes Treatment Services
Phone: 941-917-7468

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