top of page
  • Writer's pictureNatalie Lehr-Splawinski, Marketing Communications

What is Diabetes?


Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that is critical for transporting blood sugar to the body's cells for energy use. It keeps glucose in the blood within a normal range by taking glucose out of the bloodstream and moving it into various cells throughout the body. The cells utilize the glucose for energy use and store the excess.


If the blood sugar is not managed properly, our body can function properly which causes high blood sugar levels (Hyperglycemia) which over time, can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. & more.


Diabetes occurs when either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

The most common form of Diabetes is type 2 which affects adults. Approximately 90 percent of people living with diabetes have type 2 diabetes which is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors.


When the body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it as well as it should, it is referred to as type 1 diabetes which generally develops in childhood but can also occur in adulthood.

Roughly 10 percent of people living with diabetes have type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes. These patients need to inject insulin or use an insulin pump to ensure their bodies keep have the right amount of insulin. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, or even death if it’s not treated.


What are Diabetes symptoms?

  • Excessive thirst and or hunger

  • Frequent urination

  • Dramatic weight loss

  • Extreme fatigue & weakness

  • Blurred vision

  • Frequent mood changes

  • Breath smells like acetone

  • Frequent or recurring infections

  • Slow-healing Cuts and bruises

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms. Take a quick quiz to see if you are at risk:




Despite popular beliefs, sugar doesn't directly cause type 2 diabetes, however, one is more likely to develop diabetes by being overweight. Sugary foods & drinks contain high calories. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes. The more overweight you are, the higher your risk.


The cause of diabetes can be genes, family history, ethnic background, and other factors such as the living environment and your health status & lifestyle. The reasons for developing 1 diabetes are different from the reasons for developing type 2 diabetes.


Body fat stored around the abdomen (rather than the hips and thighs) is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.


Keep in mind the below helpful information:


  • Increasing physical activity is a key element in controlling weight and reducing the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Brisk walking is a great way to become more active, and every step counts. Aim for an average of 30 minutes per day, or 150 minutes per week. Consult your family doctor or health professional before increasing your physical activity level.


  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are often diagnosed together. Many people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. High blood sugar can be a warning sign that you are at high risk of developing full-blown diabetes in the future. Monitoring blood pressure regularly to reduce the risk of developing complications.


- One can reduce your risk of high blood pressure by maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing salt & fat in your diet, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco, and limiting stress.


A previous test result indicating abnormally high blood sugar may indicate pre-diabetes.


For more information, resources & support on Diabetes, visit your local Diabetes Association.































bottom of page