Learning About Diabetes
If you or someone you care for has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are likely feeling overwhelmed. Diabetes may not be like other health problems you may have had in the past. For one thing, it doesn't go away like a cold or the flu. For another, you are just as responsible as your doctor for treating your diabetes. Because so much of your day-to-day treatment is in your hands, you should learn as much about diabetes as you can.
The Basic Facts About Diabetes
- Common. At least 1 in every 12 people has diabetes.1 It is even more common for some. For example, African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.2
- Manageable. Though there is no cure for diabetes, it is managed by keeping blood sugar (glucose) as close to normal as possible. This is done with proper meal planning, exercise, and possibly medicines (type 1 diabetes requires medication, and medication is sometimes taken for type 2 diabetes).
- Lifelong. Your blood sugar levels should improve with treatment. However, this does not mean that your diabetes has gone away. It just means your blood sugars are being managed.
- Self-managed. Your healthcare team will advise and support you, but how well your diabetes is managed depends on you. The choices you make help determine what your blood sugar level will be.
- Progressive. It is common for your doctor to change your medicine or treatment plan over time, because your diabetes changes and can worsen over time.
To take the first step in your journey of learning more about diabetes conditions, treatments, and complications, click on the links below:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011. Available at . Accessed October 27, 2011.
2. African Americans & Complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at . Accessed October 27, 2011.