Diabetes is a long-lasting (or "chronic") health condition that makes your blood sugar too high – either because your body doesn’t make enough insulin (the hormone that turns food into energy) or because the insulin it makes is not used correctly. High blood sugar causes problems in many parts of the body over time - like heart disease, blindness, and damage to your nerves, feet and kidneys. Most people can prevent, delay or manage their type 2 diabetes with simple improvements in eating and by increasing physical activity.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1: People with Type 1 diabetes don’t make any insulin and must take it as a shot (injected medication). Type 1 is more common in children. People with Type 2 usually make insulin but it is either not enough or it is used poorly by the body.
Type 2: This is the most common type of diabetes and is usually seen in adults. Overweight younger people are also at risk. Before Type 2 diabetes develops, a person typically has prediabetes. Prediabetes is sometimes referred to as insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance or borderline diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: Some people develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This puts them at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes
Prediabetes is a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If left untreated, up to 1 in 3 people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within five years. Prediabetes is treatable, but most people with prediabetes do not know.
Diabetes data in Vermont
More than 55,000 Vermonters have diagnosed diabetes. The rates for diabetes in Vermont have been steady for the past several years, but one out of four Vermonters do not yet know that they have diabetes. As overweight Vermont children reach adulthood, diabetes rates are expected to increase substantially.