What Is Diabetes?
People with diabetes do not have enough insulin in their body to control their blood sugar, or their insulin isn't used the way it should be. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells of the body take up blood sugar, which is used for fuel. When there is not enough insulin in the body, parts of the body can't use blood sugar for energy. In addition, blood sugar builds up in the blood. This can lead to high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, for people who have diabetes.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, once called juvenile diabetes, is diagnosed during childhood through adulthood. Only 5% to 10% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects both children and adults.
What Are Symptoms of Diabetes?
People with diabetes may have some or all of these symptoms:
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Feeling very tired
They may also have problems with:
- Infections of the skin, gum, or bladder
- Scrapes or bruises healing slower than usual
- Tingling or numbness in the limbs
What Are the Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes?
Your family history is a strong risk factor for diabetes. Other factors that may increase someone's chances of developing type 2 diabetes include older age, being overweight, or having a lifestyle that doesn't include physical activity.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated?
When people are first diagnosed with diabetes, they are given a diabetes-friendly diet and exercise plan, and then prescribed a diabetes pill or an injectable medication. For some people, this treatment plan may be enough to help control their blood sugar levels. Other people may be prescribed a basal insulin, such as Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection).
Diabetes is a progressive condition that changes over time. Over time, you may need different treatments to help control your blood sugar. So, even if you have been managing your diabetes well with diet, exercise, and oral medication, you may need insulin therapy at some point in your life.
When you take a medication like Levemir® and make healthy lifestyle choices, you're taking an active role in managing your blood sugar levels. A long-acting once-daily insulin, such as Levemir®, offers up to 24-hour coverage in type 2 diabetes that helps control your blood sugar between meals and while you sleep.