What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which there is too much sugar in the blood. Your body uses a hormone called insulin to help control your blood sugar. People with diabetes either do not have enough insulin or can’t use the insulin well.
There are 2 types of diabetes:
- Type 1: The body does not produce enough insulin. This form of diabetes affects children and young adults.
- Type 2: The body produces insulin but does not use it properly to control blood sugar. Most people diagnosed with diabetes have this form of the disease.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
More than 700,000 New Yorkers have diabetes, and nearly a third do not know they have it. Many people with diabetes have no symptoms. For others, symptoms may develop slowly over time or are so mild, they go unnoticed.
Some common symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst or fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Tingling or pain in the hands or feet
- Wounds or cuts that are slow to heal
Without proper care, diabetes can cause serious health problems like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of the legs or feet.
What can I do to reduce my risk for diabetes?
Along with a family history of diabetes, being overweight and physically inactive are the biggest risk factors for developing the disease.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to reduce your chances of developing diabetes:
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, most days of the week.
- Get an annual check-up from your doctor. Click here to find a doctor in your neighborhood.
What can I do to manage my diabetes?
Making healthier food choices and moving more are key to controlling your diabetes. The good news is that taking small steps to improve your health goes a long way when it comes to living well with diabetes:
- Fill half of your plate at lunch and dinner with vegetables that you like or a simple salad.
- Drink water or seltzer instead of soda and juice. Add slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber to your glass to make it even more refreshing.
- Move more throughout your day. Get off the bus or subway a stop early and walk the rest of the way, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a short walk whenever it is convenient for you, like on your lunch break or after dinner.
- Take your medicine, even if you don’t feel sick. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking your medicine.
How can I find a doctor to help me with diabetes?
NYC Health + Hospitals offers expert diabetes care at all of our hospitals and neighborhood health centers. In addition to high-quality care, we offer diabetes education classes, one-on-one sessions, and patient support groups.
Call today to make an appointment with a doctor near you:
The Bronx: 718-918-5700
Staten Island: 718-266-6328