Diabetes Prevention & Control
3601 C Street, Suite 722
Anchorage, AK 99503
Julie Shasteen, PhD
About Diabetes — FAQs
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body has a shortage of insulin, a decreased ability to use insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and be converted to energy. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and, over time, damage vital organs.
Types of Diabetes
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease, and stroke.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and can be prevented through healthy eating, lowering body weight, and increasing physical activity. It can be controlled with these same activities, but insulin or oral medication also may be necessary.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes usually is first diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that may be caused by genetic, environmental, or other factors.
Gestational diabetes is a form of glucose intolerance that is diagnosed during pregnancy. It requires treatment to bring maternal blood sugar (glucose) to normal levels and avoid complications in the infant.