Diabetes is a lifelong disease that cannot be cured but it can be controlled. Having diabetes means that your body is having problems using the energy from the foods you eat. This energy comes from all foods including carbohydrates (starches and sugars), proteins and fat. After you eat, the food is turned into glucose* that is used by your cells for fuel.
It is important to remember that carbohydrates have the biggest effect on glucose levels. With diabetes, your body has trouble moving the glucose from your blood into your cells. This causes the glucose level in your blood to rise.
Keeping your blood glucose as close to normal as possible can help you feel better and give you more energy. Good control also helps you avoid problems with your eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.
You and your health care team will work together to find the best ways to control your diabetes. You are the key member of your team, which also includes your health care provider, nurse and specialists. Your team may also include a diabetes educator, dietitian, eye doctor, pharmacist, exercise specialist and others.
Your team members are available to help. If you have questions or concerns about your diabetes or about your health in general, it is important to call your clinic.
When insulin does not work correctly, the glucose from food stays in your blood (instead of moving into your cells). You may have the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Less energy
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dry skin
- Blurred vision
- Frequent yeast infections
- Sores that do not heal
You must have a test to measure blood glucose to find out if you have diabetes.
Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes is a manual by the Allina Diabetes Education Council includes what people with diabetes need to know. Whether you have just been told that you have diabetes or you've had the disease for years, we can help you manage your diabetes.