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Diabetes Education Program
RESOURCES & INFORMATION

Diabetes Fact Sheet

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes affects the way your body uses glucose (sugar) from the food you eat. Glucose is the main source of energy for your body. After digestion, glucose (from the food) enters the blood. Insulin is a hormone that is released when your blood sugar starts to rise. Insulin's job is to move the extra blood sugar to the cells for energy use. With Type 2 Diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin, or does not use insulin well. As a result, your glucose level will increase in the blood.

Know the symptoms:*

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change (gain or loss)
  • Very tired or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
  • Lack of interest and concentration
  • Vomiting and stomach pain

*These can be mild or absent in people with Type 2 Diabetes

Complications related to Diabetes:

Over time high blood sugars may lead to various complications. These include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Foot problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye disease

References:

  • Canadian Diabetes Association Publication: Diabetes
  • Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines. Retrieved January 2014