Diabetes is a disease in which there is too much sugar in the blood. Blood sugar – or glucose – is controlled by insulin, a hormone that the body makes. If you have diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or it does not effectively use the insulin it makes.
There are 2 types of diabetes:
• Type 1: The body does not produce insulin. This form of diabetes affects children and young adults.
• Type 2: The body does not use insulin properly and cannot make enough of it to control blood sugar. Most people diagnosed with diabetes have this form of the disease.
A person who has diabetes may feel symptoms like excessive thirst, extreme hunger, extreme fatigue, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, tingling, pain, or numbness in hands and/or feet, blurred vision, and sores, cuts, or bruises that are slow to heal.
Without proper care, diabetes can cause serious health problems like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.
There are several things you can do to lessen your chances of getting diabetes. Some suggestions include:
• Manage your weight. Cut back on foods high in sugar, fat, cholesterol, and salt.
• Drink water and seltzer instead of soda and fruit juices.
• Drink less alcohol as it can interfere with blood sugar levels and has a lot of calories.
• Do not smoke as smokers are more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers.
• Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
• Get an annual check-up from your doctor.
Along with following the above tips on how to prevent diabetes, here are suggestions on how to manage your diabetes:
• Talk to your doctor about your care. A doctor will give you a physical examination, prescribe medicine, and advise you on the best practices to manage your health.
• Monitor your blood sugar by using a blood glucose meter or “glucometer” as directed by your doctor.
• Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control with diet and exercise.
• Get your eyes, feet, and teeth examined by a doctor as diabetes can affect those parts of the body.
NYC Health + Hospitals provides advanced care for diabetes at all of our hospitals and neighborhood health centers. We offer medical treatment for diabetes and other diseases that may be linked to diabetes, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. We also have programs like our diabetes wellness centers that offer classes and support groups to help you learn to control your diabetes.
We have appointments and extended hours that fit your busy schedule with a care team ready to serve you and your family from the very first visit. Learn more about our extended hours.