What Is Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not properly use sugar, causing blood sugar levels to become too high. The body uses sugar (glucose) from food for energy. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps maintain blood sugar levels in the normal range.
Symptoms of diabetes may include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. If you have one or more of these symptoms, see your doctor.
Many of the complications of diabetes are related to high blood sugar levels. When left untreated, these high levels can damage the nervous systems, kidneys, and cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Complications include blindness, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke, nerve disease and amputations.
Types of Diabetes
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 which results from the body’s failures to produce insulin. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was formerly known as juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 which results from the body not producing enough insulin (insulin deficiency) or the cells ignoring the insulin produced (insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and is becoming more common in obese children.
Gestational diabetes which occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
The comprehensive diabetes care program offers state-of-the-art care and education for people with diabetes and their families. This includes consultation and subsequent visits, insulin therapy utilizing the insulin pump, non-insulin therapies, and careful attention to diabetic complications and their prevention. Our physicians participate in a variety of diabetes oriented research programs, and patients have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge clinical studies when appropriate. For those in need of primary care services, the program provides referrals to UConn Health primary care physicians. Nutrition services, health psychology, podiatry, endocrinology, and ophthalmology services are also offered.
Additionally, our ADA recognized Diabetes Education Ambulatory Self-Management Program assists people with diabetes and their families in meal planning, exercise, weight management, medications, and equipment selection as needed. Focused is placed on empowering patients to be informed about the latest technologies and therapies, and to make choices appropriate for their lifestyle. This is accomplished through individual one on one sessions, group workshops, case management and routine follow-up care.