About Diabetes

Have Diabetes?

We assure you that you are not the only one.  In fact, 23 million American adults have been diagnosed, but there are 7.2 million more American adults that have it but are not aware.

Our goal as The Delaware County Diabetes Organization is to provide education to the general public and increase health literacy about a common chronic illness: Diabetes.


To understand the cause of diabetes and its symptoms, we must understand how functioning body preforms:In a healthy human body the main source of energy comes from the food individuals consume. When food is consumed, it is digested in the stomach and passes into the small intestine and breaks down as sugars, fat, protein, vitamins, water, waste products.  The types of food that is consumed is what raises and drops glucose (sugars) levels in the blood stream. Then Insulin, another hormone in the body produced by pancreas, assists glucose get food into the cell. This process in turn provides human energy for basic and daily activities. However if you have diabetes, your body either cannot make enough insulin or does not work correctly.

The three main types of diabetes are:

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Gestational Diabetes (during pregnancy)


This diseases means that the body fails to make insulin. This disease attacks the immune system and antibodies, which in turn destroys insulin producing cells. If there is no insulin production, sugar will build up in the blood stream.   Thus a person must supplement insulin from an outside source. It most often occurs in children and young adults. Risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes include family history and the possibility of the environmental diseases that damage the immune system can affect insulin production.


Type 2 Diabetes results from the body not making enough insulin combined with a failure to use insulin properly.  The body responds by enlarging the insulin producing cells and making even more insulin. The insulin cells Usually occurs after the age of 35. Some risk factors include Family History of  Type 2 diabetes, intake of refined foods, or little or no activity. It is said that 95% of the people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. It is also said that most women have type 2 diabetes.  Most people with this disease control it with exercise, lower calorie intake, however some take daily insulin injections or take pills to control the insulin uptake.


Occurs during pregnancy. Up to 9 percent of all pregnant women developed diabetes during pregnancy.



Term used to identify individuals that have higher than normal blood sugars, but not high enough for  a diagnosis of diabetes. The diagnosis of Prediabetes is shown to have a blood pressure between 100 to 125 mg/dl.

HYPOGLYCEMIA (Low blood sugar):

Too much insulin production, unusual amounts of exercise, no carbohydrates intake, or not eating before drinking alcohol are some factors that might lead to low blood pressure.


  • Cold,Clammy Sweat
  • Headaches
  • Hunger
  • Pounding Heart
  • Blurred or double vision

*Doctors suggest fruit, milk, honey, and etc. for controlling low blood sugar

HYPERGLYCEMIA(High Blood Sugar):

Not enough of insulin, too much food, stress, or no exercise are some factors that might lead to high blood pressure.


  • Increased thirst
  • Hunger
  • Heavy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

* If there Ketones (harmful acids from fats) and have a blood pressure of 240 mg/dl and above call a doctor immediately.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis is when the body uses fats for energy instead of sugar, but this rarely occurs with Type 2 diabetic patients.


* This is not a complete list of signs and symptoms when diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Excessive Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Blurred Vision
  • Weight Loss
  • Numbness in the hands and feet
  • Hunger
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue


Testing is critical to assure any current and future problems can be treated properly.

One test for diabetics that is critical is Blood Sugar Monitoring to test how much sugar is in the blood. Also it is ideal to understand a normal blood pressure is between 65 to 99 md/dl. Thus to decrease the risk of heart disease and failure the blood pressure needs to be controlled to that range.


These are some factors that can be changed or improved to decrease the risk of diabetes:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Alcohol intake

These factors cannot be changed but are some causes of diabetes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family History


The major aspect to prevention is insulin and glucose control. This will keep your blood pressure under control and the heart healthy.  If a doctor prescribes medication it will help either body release more insulin from the pancreas, keeps the liver from producing too much blood sugar, helps insulin work better in muscle and fat cells, or causes excess blood sugar to be removed from the urine.

Exercise is also critical for weight loss in diabetics.  This helps the cells respond to insulin more efficiently by moving sugar into the blood instead of staying in the blood stream. The way exercise works is that if an individual exercises they can gain more muscle mass.  In muscles there are organelles called mitochondria that provide ample energy and insulin for use in the body; this assures that insulin is not stored in the liver.


Balanced meal of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The goal is to control serving size and total carbohydrates intake to control the blood pressure levels.


  • Be careful of the sun-There is a possibility it can elevate blood sugar levels.
  • Keep the feet safe-  Diabetics have nerve damage and sometimes do not detect pain on their feet. Thus to make sure individuals don’t get severely hurt it is important to keep the feet safe.


  • Follow a meal plan and try to eat on time
  • Pack extra food to elevate blood sugar levels
  • Maintain fluid intake
  • Carry medication at all times