Diabetes Mellitus, or diabetes, is a group of diseases, marked by high levels of blood sugar (also called glucose). Diabetes results from the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body break down sugar in food so the body can use it as energy. "Type 1" diabetes happens when a person does not produce insulin. "Type 2" diabetes, the more common type, happens when a person does not make enough insulin or use it efficiently. With both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, a lack of insulin means that the glucose stays and accumulates in the blood. Over time these high levels of blood glucose can cause serious health problems. more

What you should do

  • Have your blood sugar tested as directed by your healthcare provider
  • If you smoke or use tobacco quit; more
  • Increase your level of physical activity; more
  • Follow a low-fat meal plan and maintain a healthy weight; more
  • Get a flu and pneumonia shot.
  • If you are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, check with your physician on how to properly control your diabetes to avoid your child being born with birth defect. more
  • Know your risk score.

Risk Factors

  • Blood sugar higher than normal;
  • Being over age 45;
  • Having a family history of diabetes;
  • Being overweight;
  • Not exercising regularly;
  • Having high cholesterol or triglycerides, and high blood pressure;
  • Being Hispanic/Latino, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, or Native American;
  • Having high blood sugar during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), or having a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds at birth.
  • People diagnosed with pre-diabetes more