Page ContentFAQ Get answers to frequently asked questions about diabetes. What is diabetes? If you have diabetes, blood sugar levels in your body are too high, either because your pancreas produces little or no insulin, or your body has lost the ability to efficiently use the insulin it produces. Is diabetes dangerous? Yes, the high levels of blood sugar can damage your circulatory system, your kidneys, your eyes and your nervous system. What is prediabetes? Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal and this can progress to Type 2 diabetes. Even if it doesn’t progress, heightened blood glucose levels may be enough to damage to the body. Fortunately, prediabetes can often be reversed through weight loss, a healthier diet and exercise. What are the types of diabetes? There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes – The pancreas makes little or no insulin. A person with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections to survive. This type occurs most often in people who are under 30 years old. Type 2 diabetes – Insulin is made but it doesn't work as it should. Nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. This type occurs most often in people who are overweight. Gestational diabetes – Diabetes develops during pregnancy due to an abnormally high of sugar in the mother’s blood. Most women with gestational diabetes don’t remain diabetic after the baby is born. A woman who has had gestational diabetes, though, is at higher risk for developing it again during a future pregnancy and for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.Who’s at a high risk for diabetes? You may be at greater risk to develop diabetes if: You are over age 45.You developed gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby that was over 9 pounds.You lead a sedentary lifestyle.You are overweight or obese.You have a family history of diabetes.You are an African American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian American.You have prediabetes.What are the symptoms of diabetes? The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often severe and sudden. These include: Increased thirstDry mouthA need to urinate oftenWeight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)Weak, tired feelingBlurred vision The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be so subtle you won’t notice them at all, which is why it’s often referred to as a “silent” disease. Symptoms may include: Extreme thirst and hungerUnexplained weight lossFatigueFrequent urinationSores that are slow to healNumbness or tingling in your hands or feetBlurry visionFrequent infectionsDoes diabetes contribute to other health problems? Yes, especially if it's not properly treated. You could put yourself at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage if you don't keep it under control. Can diabetes be prevented? If you’re at risk for diabetes, there are some steps you can take to help slow the progression to Type 2 diabetes – or even potentially prevent yourself from developing it at all. These steps include making lifestyle changes, such as choosing healthier foods like lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables, and becoming more active. See our 6 Steps for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes for more information. Can diabetes be reversed? Prediabetes can often be reversed by following a healthier lifestyle: making good food choices, becoming more active and losing weight as directed by your physician. These changes may significantly cut your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes significantly. Once you have Type 2 diabetes, it is very difficult to reverse. You can, however, learn how to manage your diabetes. How will I know for sure if I have diabetes? Your doctor can perform blood and urine tests to see if you have diabetes. Can diabetes be cured? No. A cure for diabetes has not yet been found. However, diabetes can be treated and controlled. Most people with diabetes manage their disease and lead normal lives. How is diabetes managed? Diabetes is managed through proper diet, exercise and, if needed, medication. People with diabetes must use home and doctor’s office tests to monitor the levels of sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood. Steps are then taken to keep these levels as normal as possible. Type 1 diabetes is controlled with:Insulin shots.Meal planning.Exercise.Type 2 diabetes is controlled with:Diet and exercise.Medicine taken by the mouth.Insulin shots (in less common cases).See how Kelsey-Seybold’s Diabetes Education Programs helps patients manage their diabetes.