HEALTH EDUCATION OF THE MONTH : 
Diabetes 

No matter where you are in your fight, here’s where you need to be.

Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed, have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a while, or are helping a loved one, you’ve come to the right place. This is the start of gaining a deeper understanding of how you can live a healthier life—with all the tools, health tips, and food ideas you need. Wherever you’re at with your diabetes, know that you have options and that you don’t have to be held back. You can still live your best life. All you have to do is take action and stick with it.

Understanding type 1

Here’s what you need to know about type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age and in people of every race, shape, and size. There is no shame in having it, and you have a community of people ready to support you. Learning as much as you can about it and working closely with your diabetes care team can give you everything you need to thrive.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar (blood glucose) that it uses for energy—and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Remember: this is a condition that can be managed. By living a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and proper diet, you can live a normal life and do everything you set out to do.

Understanding type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. Regardless, you have options—and we're here with the tools, resources, and support you need.

A key part of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. You need to eat something sustainable that helps you feel better and still makes you feel happy and fed. Remember, it’s a process. Work to find helpful tips and diet plans that best suit your lifestyle—and how you can make your nutritional intake work the hardest for you.

Fitness is another key to managing type 2. And the good news, all you have to do is get moving. The key is to find activities you love and do them as often as you can. No matter how fit you are, a little activity every day can help you put yourself in charge of your life.

Understanding diabetes from other causes

In addition to type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, a small minority of people develop specific types of diabetes due to other causes. This includes: 

  • Monogenic diabetes syndromes, such as neonatal diabetes and maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY)

  • Diseases of the exocrine pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis

  • Drug or chemical-induced diabetes, such as with glucocorticoid use, in the treatment of HIV/AIDS or after organ transplantation

Because these types of diabetes are rare, they are often misdiagnosed as other types of diabetes. You can learn more about these types of diabetes in the Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes section in the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. If you think you might have one of these types, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Loved ones

Hearing that your child or loved one has diabetes can be a shock. But after that shock wears off, know that there are plenty of things you can do to help manage their diabetes. With planning and preparation, you can get back to normal life and resume your daily activities.

You can make physical activity part of every day. You can create a balanced diet for your child—one that everyone can live with and thrive on. Throughout it all, know that diabetes can’t keep your child from doing whatever they want and achieve their highest goals. There are Olympic athletes with diabetes, as well as professional football players, politicians, actors, rock stars, and CEOs. So, take a deep breath. You can do so much to make sure the people you love are thriving as they manage their diabetes.

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Page Last Updated 11/16/2021