Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Diabetes Symptoms

If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
  • Are very thirsty
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Are very hungry
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have very dry skin
  • Have sores that heal slowly
  • Have more infections than usual

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

People who have type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe. Type 1 diabetes usually starts when you’re a child, teen, or young adult but can happen at any age.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people don’t notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when you’re an adult, though more and more children and teens are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, it’s important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Make sure to visit your doctor if you have any of them.

Statistics on Diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report in January 2022. This report estimates that more than 130 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States. The report analyzed data from 2019 and includes information on the incidence and prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes, efforts addressing type 2 diabetes prevention, and diabetes management. For the first time, diabetes data by income level was published and shows a higher prevalence of diabetes was also associated with poverty.

Fast Facts on Diabetes

Diabetes

  • Total: 37.3 million people have diabetes (11.3% of the US population)
  • Diagnosed: 28.7 million people, including 28.5 million adults
  • Undiagnosed: 8.5 million people (23.0% of adults are undiagnosed)

Prediabetes

  • Total: 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (38.0% of the adult US population)
  • 65 years or older: 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes

Living With Diabetes

Find education, support, and resources to improve quality of life with diabetes. Learn how to manage diabetes to prevent or delay health complications by eating well, being physically active, managing diabetes during sick days, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress and mental health, and more.

Resources from the Freeman/Lozier Library:

Finally, if you have diabetes, another resource that may be helpful is the DSMES Toolkit. The DSMES (Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support)Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for achieving success in Diabetes Self- Management Education and Support (DSMES). Expanded use of DSMES can help ensure that all people with diabetes receive the support they need.

Resources:

What is diabetes?

Statistics

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