Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as "sugar." Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
People who think they might have diabetes must visit a medical provider for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:
Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called Type 1 diabetes.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, Valley Professionals holds monthly Diabetic Support Group meetings that are completely free, even if you are not a patient. Group meetings cover topics like healthy eating and snacking; grocery shopping tips; staying active; getting to know the signs and symptoms associated with diabetes; and avoiding low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).