When you have diabetes, your body either does not make or properly use insulin. Insulin is important because it turns sugar, starches and other foods into the energy you need for daily life. Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition. The good news is you can manage it and live well.
Types of Diabetes
Prediabetes is a warning sign. It usually develops before Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes means your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Lifestyle changes can often keep you from developing Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnoses in children and young adults whose bodies don’t produce insulin. It used to be called juvenile diabetes. About 5% of people with diabetes have Type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. It develops when your body does not use insulin properly. It causes your blood sugar to rise to unhealthy levels.
Diabetes during pregnancy is also called gestational diabetes. It causes your blood sugar to rise to levels that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. Your blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery.
Manage Your Diabetes Successfully
- Exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Get a wellness checkup once each year.
- Lose excess weight.
- Monitor your blood sugar regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Take medicine as prescribed.
- Work with a dietitian on meal planning.
American Diabetes Association recommends these targets for nonpregnant adults.
|Blood Glucose||General Goal||Keep In Mind|
|A1C||Less than 7%||The general goal of less than 7% is reasonable for most adults with diabetes.|
|Before meal||80-130 mg/dL|
|After meal||Less than 180 mg/dL||Measure your post-meal glucose 1-2 hours after the beginning of the meal.|
|High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)||Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)|
Complex vs. Simple Carbs
Carbohydrates are one of the body’s main sources of energy. Eating the right carbs can help keep your blood sugar on track.
Eat More Complex Carbs
Complex carbs are good for you. They are high in fiber, digest more slowly and help manage post-meal blood sugar spikes. Examples of good food choices are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads, pasta and cereals made with whole grains
Skip the Simple Carbs
Simple carbs are sugars. Try to avoid common sources such as:
- White breads, pasta and cereals
Talk With Your Doctor
Your doctor is one of the best resources for help with living successfully with diabetes. If you need a physician, use our Find a Doctor tool.
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