Living With Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that is marked by high levels of blood glucose, resulting from defects in insulin production, action or both. If not treated properly, it can lead to serious complications. There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 Diabetes is most commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent and affects roughly 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. Type 1 Diabetes can affect individuals at any age, but it is more common among children and young adults. The only way to control glucose levels for people who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, is to inject or pump insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, affects approximately 90%-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. It occurs when the body does not use insulin properly, and therefore needs insulin in order to function properly. Type 2 diabetes normally affects individuals with older age, family history of diabetes, obesity, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, and physical inactivity.

Certain ethnic groups are at a greater risk of developing this type of diabetes such as; African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

Complications from Diabetes

  • • Heart disease and stroke
  • • High blood pressure
  • • Blindness and eye problems
  • • Kidney disease
  • • Nervous System Disease
  • • Amputation
  • • Dental disease

How to Treat/Prevent Diabetes

  • • Type 1 Diabetes can only be treated by injecting insulin
  • • Type 2 Diabetes can be treated/prevented by simply making the right choices in life:
    – Eat a healthy diet
    – Exercise regularly
    – Maintain a healthy weight
    – Take proper medication
    – Monitor glucose level


  • • 67% of adults with diabetes also suffer from high blood pressure
  • • 8.3% (25.8 million Americans) of the US population has diabetes
    – 26.9% of adults 65+ have diabetes
    – 13.7% of adults 45-64 have diabetes
  • • 11.8% of males 20 years or older have diabetes
  • • 10.8% of females 20 years or older have diabetes
  • • AAfrican-Americans have the highest incidence of diabetes at 12.6%
  • • 11.8% of Hispanics have diabetes
  • • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke

Source: 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.