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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar (glucose). There are two main types of diabetes: type 1, which is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas; and type 2, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough of it. Diabetes can lead to a range of health complications, including nerve damage, kidney damage, and an increased risk of heart disease. Treatment for diabetes typically involves a combination of strategies including primarily lifestyle change, often with medications and regularly monitoring blood sugar levels.

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Portrait of pensive mature man in glasses and plaid shirt resting leaning on his wooden wa

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from the body's inability to effectively use insulin or produce enough of it. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes is largely driven by lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, with an estimated 34.2 million Americans (about 10% of the population) affected. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing, and it is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States.


The long-term health complications of type 2 diabetes occur gradually. The longer you have type 2 diabetes, and the less controlled your blood sugar, the higher your risk of complications. Over time, diabetes complications may be disabling or life-threatening.

Complications include: 

  • Cardiovascular disease: High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.

  • Nerve damage: Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, or even loss of sensation in the hands and feet.

  • Kidney damage: Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease and even kidney failure.

  • Eye damage: High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in adults.

  • Foot damage: Nerve damage and poor circulation can lead to foot ulcers and infections, which can be difficult to treat and may even require amputation.

  • Skin conditions: Diabetes can make skin more susceptible to infections and other conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections, dry skin, and itching.

  • Hearing impairment: Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of hearing loss.

  • Cognitive decline: Diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

  • Cognitive decline: Diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

  • Mental health: Diabetes is associated with a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

  • Sexual dysfunction: Diabetes can cause nerve damage and circulation problems that can lead to sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction in men.

Knowing your A1c

A1c is a blood test that measures a person's average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. It provides valuable information about an individual's overall blood sugar control, as opposed to a single reading at one point in time. For people with diabetes, A1c is an important tool for monitoring their condition and adjusting treatment as needed to prevent complications. A1c targets may vary depending on the individual's age, health status, and other factors, but generally, a lower A1c is associated with a reduced risk of complications.

Join Our Diabetes Intensive Class

Our 4 week diabetes intensive class followed by our lifestyle intervention program is proven to help you improve your life, weight and A1c.  Classes start every quarter, class us for more information.

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