National Diabetes Awareness Month

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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. 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 sugar to build up in your blood.


Diagnosed Diabetes Prevalence, Age-adjusted Percentage

Source: CDC

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

People who think they might have diabetes must see a physician for diagnosis. They may have some or none of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination

  • Excessive thirst

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Extreme hunger

  • Sudden vision changes

  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet

  • Feeling very tired much of the time

  • Very dry skin

  • Sores that are slow to heal

  • More infections than usual


What Are the Types of Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for about 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes normally develop the disease in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. In this type of disease, the body does not produce insulin therefore the person has to take insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. In this form of the disease, either the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function or the body does not use the insulin produced in an efficient manner. This type of diabetes often develops in middle-aged or older adults but can appear in young people. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes consists of insulin injections or oral medications or both.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 10% of all pregnancies but usually disappears when the pregnancy is over.

Are Diabetic Education Services Provided Locally?

Yes, the Pointe Coupee Diabetes Education and Nutrition Program provides a complete education/training experience based on the needs of the patient and the recommendations of the referring physician. Our program has met the accreditation requirements of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. A doctor's order is necessary but the Pointe Coupee Diabetes Education and Nutrition Program staff will be happy to take the necessary information to obtain orders from your physician. The phone number to call is (225) 638-5718. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM.