Health Education: Diabetes

Download our Diabetes Guide in PDF format.

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Visit The American Diabetes Association Website to learn even more.

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body cannot produce and use its own insulin well enough to control how much sugar (glucose) is in your blood. Insulin is one of the most important hormones that our body makes. It is made by your pancreas continuously.

When you have type 2 diabetes this process is not working well. It is difficult for your body to use the sugar for energy. This is due to two problems you may have:

  • Insulin resistance. Your cells are resistant to your body’s use of insulin. This means your body cannot fully use insulin. (Up to 9 out of 10 patients with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance.)
  • Insulin deficiency. Your body cannot always make enough insulin to help sugar move from your blood into your cells. If insulin deficiency is improved, your body will have more of the insulin it needs.

Who is more likely to get type 2 diabetes?

  • Family history of diabetes. If you have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes, you are at greater risk.
  • Being overweight. Body fat, especially around the waist and chest, increases insulin resistance.
  • Lack of physical activity. Physical activity helps cells use insulin and blood sugar for energy.
  • Ethnic background. If you are African American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian, you have a higher risk.

Long term blood sugar control is your main goal. There are 5 important ways to help you achieve this:

  • Healthy eating
  • Regular physical activity
  • Blood sugar monitoring
  • Medication, as directed
  • See your health care provider regularly

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