Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your cells for use as energy.
If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin as well as it should. When too much sugar stays in your bloodstream, that can cause serious health problems over time such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
There isn’t a cure for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Taking medicine as needed and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life.
30.3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult blindness.
In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled.
Are You or Someone You Know at Risk for Diabetes?
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Use this true or false quiz to test your knowledge about diabetes and learn more about the risks. An answer key can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Excessive thirst is a possible warning sign for diabetes
- People with diabetes often lose their sense of smell
- Hair loss can indicate whether or not you have diabetes
- Frequent urination is a possible warning sign for diabetes
- People with diabetes can experience numbness in their hands and feet
- Being overweight increases your risk of getting type 1 diabetes
- People with diabetes cannot eat sweet food
- Diabetes can be a life-threatening condition
- You cannot catch diabetes from another person
- People with diabetes should not exercise
How well do you think you did? If you or a loved one has questions about diabetes, consider contacting your Brown Medicine provider for more information.
- True, excessive thirst is a possible warning sign for diabetes.
- False, Losing your sense of smell is not a possible warning sign for diabetes.
- False, hair loss is not a possible warning sign of diabetes.
- True, frequent urination is a possible warning sign for diabetes.
- True, numbness in the hands or feet is a possible symptom of diabetes.
- False, being overweight does not increase your risk of getting type 1 diabetes. Being overweight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defense system attacks the cells that produce insulin.
- False, people with diabetes can eat sweet food but, like everyone else, should avoid eating too many foods high in sugar for general good health and wellbeing.
- True, diabetes is a serious condition when left untreated or not managed correctly. It is responsible for four million deaths each year and is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
- True, you cannot catch diabetes from another person.
- False, people with diabetes should exercise regularly. Regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet are important components of good diabetes management.