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Managing Diabetes

Learn as Much as You Can About Diabetes to Help Manage It

The more you know about diabetes, the better you can work with your healthcare team to manage your disease and reduce your risk for problems.
You should know what type of diabetes you have. If you do not know, ask your doctor whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This type of diabetes is less common and used to be called juvenile diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Diet and daily physical activity help to control type 2 diabetes. Most people also need to take pills or insulin. Type 2 diabetes is common and used to be called adult-onset diabetes.
Diabetes is always a serious disease. Terms that suggest the condition is not serious, such as "a touch of diabetes," "mild diabetes," and "sugar's a little high," are misleading and should no longer be used.
Finding and treating diabetes early can prevent health problems later on. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms and do not know they have the condition. Some people are at higher risk for diabetes than others, including those who:
  • Are older than 45
  • Are inactive
  • Are overweight
  • Have a close family member, such as a parent, a brother, or a sister with diabetes
  • Had diabetes during pregnancy
  • Had a baby that weighed more than nine pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or American Indian
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol or other abnormal blood fats.
If you know someone who has any of the risk factors for diabetes, suggest that this person talk to his or her doctor about getting tested.
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