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Diabetes Basics

Diabetes Basics

Diabetes Information for You and Your Family

How does diabetes happen?

Diabetes happens when the body:




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  • Does not make enough insulin
  • Does not use insulin well
  • Stops making insulin

Insulin is made by the body to help move sugar from the blood to the muscles and other parts of the body.

About Type 2 Diabetes

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not use insulin well and does not make enough insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes.

The chances for type 2 diabetes are higher if you:

  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • Have ever had diabetes during pregnancy
  • Are overweight
  • Are not physically active
  • Have prediabetes

Prediabetes is having blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough for diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Feeling very tired most of the time
  • Increased urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision

These symptoms can be severe or mild. Some people may not have any symptoms.

How can you find out if you have diabetes?

A blood test will show if you have diabetes. Ask your health care provider about getting tested and where you can get more information.

Take Steps to Manage Diabetes

Even though diabetes is long lasting, there are things you can do to stay healthy. Consider the following things and ask your health care provider if it is right for you.

Healthy foodMake healthy food choices.


No soda - Choose WaterChoose water instead of sugary drinks.


A man with a child in his backpackStay active.


Someone checking their blood sugarCheck your blood sugar.


The palm of a hand holding a pillTake medicine.


Find healthy ways to cope with stress.

Everyone has a different experience with diabetes. Sometimes it can be tough. Having support from family, friends, and others with diabetes can be helpful. There may be a diabetes education program at your clinic or in your community.

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