In simple terms, diabetes is a disease that prevents your body from properly using energy from the food you eat.

What causes diabetes?

While the causes of diabetes are not known, the following factors may increase your risk:

Family history
Ethnic background
Being overweight
Physical stress
Certain medications

Injury to the pancreas
Autoimmune disease
High blood pressure
Blood cholesterol
Triglyceride levels

History of gestational diabetes
Smoking
Age

How is diabetes managed?

There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated and controlled.

Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity.

Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near the normal ranges as possible.

Control your blood pressure. It is important that your blood pressure does not go over 140/90.

Decrease or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems.

I am a type-2 diabetic, and they took me off medication simply because I ate right and exercised. Diabetes is not like a cancer, where you go in for chemo and radiation. You can change a lot through a basic changing of habits. —SHERRI SHEPHERD