What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as “sugar.”

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.


Diabetes Symptoms

  • The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.
  • Common symptoms of diabetes:
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)


Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.


What are the types of Diabetes?

Type 1

Type 1 Diabetes, previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors are less well defined for Type 1 diabetes than for Type 2 diabetes, but autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of this type of diabetes.

Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.


Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in 2 percent to 5 percent of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing Type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40 percent of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.


Think outside the box this Thanksgiving! Instead of cooking and serving a whole turkey, try a leaner alternative with this turkey breast recipe.

Serves 6. Per serving:

415 Calories

37 grams of carbohydrate
35 gram of protein
15 grams of fat
1.5 gram of saturated fat
17 grams of sugar
5 gram of dietary fiber
750 mg of cholesterol
215 mg of sodium


  1. Rinse rice under running water and pick out any grains that do not look good to you. Place rice, shallots, bay leaf, salt and stock in a 4-quart pan and cook until rice is tender, fruit, nuts and pepper. Set aside to cool before stuffing turkey breast.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place turkey breast on cutting board and butterfly. Pound to even thickness. Season with Salt & Pepper Blend.
  3. Place stuffing over turkey breast and roll turkey breast to enclose. Tie at 3-inch intervals. Place on roasting rack and roast for approximately 45-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 155-160°F. Let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing. Remove skin before eating.