What is diabetes?

Monday, July 19, 2021

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat and insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy.

There are different types of diabetes. With type 1, your body does not make insulin. With type 2, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. With enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have pre-diabetes, which means your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes, which puts you at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Signs of type 2 diabetes may be subtle such as fatigue, slow healing, thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision or tingling in the feet and hands.

Signs of type 1 diabetes are often more classic -- feeling very hungry while losing weight, very thirsty, frequent urination and fatigue. Very high blood sugar can cause nausea, vomiting and stomach pain followed by weakness and changes in level of consciousness.

Diabetes can cause a number of health issues over time. Having too much glucose in your blood can damage your eyes, kidneys and nerves. It can also cause heart disease, stroke and even amputations of limbs. Pregnant women can also get gestational diabetes.

The Diabetes Center at Cookeville Regional is a recognized Diabetes Self-management Education and Support services (DSMES) provider through the American Diabetes Association.

The center provides DSMES services with individual and group classes relating to all seven self-care behaviors.

“We also offer gestational diabetes and weight management classes in addition to training on all types of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems,” said Kim Mayberry, RN, director of the Diabetes Center. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life and provide support for people of this region and their families living with diabetes.”