Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy.
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Formally known as Insulin Dependant Diabetes or Juvenile Diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, depriving the body’s ability to use blood sugar for energy. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to survive.
Formally known as Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Many factors can contribute to Type 2
- The pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs
- The cells of the body are resistant to insulin
- The liver produces too much sugar.
Many individuals with Type 2 diabetes are able to manage their disease through a carefully managed diet and exercise program. Several oral medications are available that help Type 2 patients manage their diabetes more successfully.
Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes.
Hormones from the placenta block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy and the sugar builds up in the blood to high levels.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet diabetic.
People with pre-diabetes are likely to develop diabetes within 10 years if not treated. Diabetes can be prevented or alleviated with modest changes in diet and activity level during the pre-diabetes phase.
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, offer diabetes education benefits with a physician’s referral. Patients are encouraged to call their insurance provider and ask about their diabetes education benefits.
HDC also offers a financial assistance program for individuals who are uninsured, underinsured or who are low-income. Please call (208) 331-1155 for more information.