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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Diabetes Prevention and Management - Diabetes Management

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. About 1 in 10 people have diabetes in the U.S. 1 in 5 don’t know they have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type. Diabetes can be managed. People who do not have diabetes can take steps to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC)

DiabetesInTheUS_Snapshot-2022-08-23 21_25_23 (1)

A snapshot of Diabetes in the United States (infographic) - 37 million people have diabetes.

What are Risk Factors for Diabetes?

  • Having prediabetesdiabetes control
  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

 What are Symptoms of Diabetes?

If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, visit with your doctor and ask for a blood sugar test:

  • Frequent urination, often at night
  • Are very thirsty
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Are very hungry
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have very dry skin
  • Have sores that heal slowly
  • Have more infections than usual

What are Ways to Prevent Diabetes and Its Complications?

  • Work with a health professional
  • Eat healthy
  • Stay active

What are Complications of Diabetes?

  • Kidney damage (nephropathy)
  • Eye damage
  • Foot damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Skin conditions
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)