What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy.

With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.

You can also have prediabetes, which means that your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes symptoms depend on how high your blood sugar is. Some people, especially if they have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may even have symptoms. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Some symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes include:

  • Feeling more thirsty than usual
  • Urinating often
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Presence of ketones in urine – a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when your body is not making enough insulin
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Feeling irritable
  • Mood changes
  • Blurry vision
  • Having slow healing sores
  • Getting a lot of infections, including gum, skin, and vaginal

Diagnosing Diabetes

If you think you or your child may have diabetes, contact your primary care provider. If you don’t have a primary care provider, schedule a new patient appointment below.

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