Genesee County Health Department
Better Life Through Better Health
Many are unaware of what diabetes is or how it affects the body.
Normally, after a person eats, the pancreas releases the right amount of
insulin to help convert the food we eat into a form which cells
throughout our body can use to keep up alive. In a person with diabetes,
the pancreas is unable to produce the right amount of insulin or produce
it in a form which cells can use. As a result, the bodyís glucose
level rises. The three major signs of diabetes resulting from the higher
concentrations of glucose are excessive thirst, increased appetite, and
a frequent need to urinate. A high-fat, high-calorie diet, being
overweight, and not getting regular exercise increases the risk of
Diabetes contributes to heart disease, blindness, foot problems, and
kidney disease. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of
children and young adults diagnosed with diabetes. This trend is thought
to be related to poor eating habits and inadequate exercise.
There are several types of diabetes. Type I diabetes can develop at
any age, but is more common in children and young adults. With this
type, the body makes little or no insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, a
personís body makes some insulin, but either not enough or in a form
the body canít use properly.
Diabetes is treated, in part, with regular exercise and eating a
controlled, balanced diet. In addition, Type 1 diabetes usually requires
insulin injections. Type 2 and gestational diabetes (another type of
diabetes which affects pregnant women) may be treated with medication
and/or insulin injections.
For more information on diabetes, please contact your physician or
the Genesee County Health Department, at 785-9711.