Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s body doesn’t make enough of the hormone insulin or can’t use insulin properly. There are 2 types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body’s cells ignore the insulin. Between 90% and 95% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not so high that your doctor can say you have diabetes. Pre-diabetes is becoming more common in the United States. It greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent or delay the onset of full-blown type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.
Although diabetes can’t be cured, you can still live a long and healthy life. The single most important thing you can do is control your blood sugar level. You can do this by eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and, if needed, taking oral medicines or insulin.