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Published on Dec 06 2016 // Men health, women health

More information on diabetes1

If you have diabetes, your body’s system of making energy from food does not work right. Normally, your body breaks food down into glucose, a form of sugar that is the body’s main source of fuel. The hormone insulin helps your body use the glucose. A person who has diabetes has problems with insulin.

With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-making cells. There is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it is much less common than type 2 diabetes.

With type 2 diabetes, usually your body does not use insulin well. As a result, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy. That means your cells don’t get the fuel they need to function. And, over time, high blood sugar levels can hurt the organs in your body.

You can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know you have it. Many men don’t know they have it until they develop problems such as vision loss, kidney disease, or erectile dysfunction. If you have symptoms, they could include:

  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Needing to urinate (pee) often
  • Feeling tired
  • Having sores that don’t heal well

It is possible to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. These steps can help:

  • Make exercise a habit. Learn more about physical activity.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Maintain a healthy diet by focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fatty, sugary, and salty foods.
  • Know your family’s diabetes history, and discuss it with your doctor.

It’s important to get screened for diabetes. Consider these points about screening:

  • Experts recommend getting screened every three years starting at age 45. Before age 45, ask your doctor if you need to be screened based on your risks for diabetes, such as being overweight and having a relative with diabetes.
  • Screening can detect diabetes early, when it is easier to lower your chances of developing diabetes-related health problems.
  • Screening also can reveal pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes means your blood glucose level is higher than is considered normal and you are at risk of developing diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be reversed, so ask your doctor about steps you can take, such as exercising and making healthy food choices.

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