Diabetes – A Family Affair

Take the time to discuss these questions and answers with your family and loved ones:

Diabetes is a disease characterized by increased levels of sugar in the blood.
True. People with diabetes have increased blood sugar (blood glucose levels). High levels of glucose may build up in the blood, and as a result the body loses its main source of fuel. The normal level of sugar in the blood is below 126.

Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by your body to help regulate blood sugar.
True. People with diabetes lack insulin, have insufficient amounts of insulin, or are resistant to insulin's affects.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that if left uncontrolled may lead to other serious health problems.
True. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, gums, and teeth. It is the leading cause of adult blindness, lower limb amputations and kidney failure. People with diabetes also have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Keeping your blood sugar levels near normal can greatly reduce these risks.

Diabetes only affects older people.
False. Diabetes can affect both the young and the old. In fact, type I diabetes mostly affects children while type II diabetes affects adults. It is a disease that is widespread around the world and affects men and women, children and adults, and people of all ethnicity.

Diabetes is an embarrassing disease.
False. Diabetes is a common disease. It has no boundaries and afflicts all kinds of people, even many famous people.

I need to educate my family on the dangers of diabetes.
True. Diabetes is a family affair. Everyone in the family should be made aware of this disease and should be helping those with diabetes control it.

Diabetes is contagious.
False. You cannot contract diabetes through contact or socializing with a person who has diabetes.

I can't develop diabetes if my parents don't have it.
False. Though diabetes can run in families, it can also be associated with poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

People with diabetes have a more difficult time fighting off infections and healing wounds than people who don't have diabetes.
True. In general, people with diabetes may take longer to fight an infection and may experience more difficulty in mending open wounds and sores.

My feet are important.
True. Though at times some people may be embarrassed by their feet, it is important to take good care of them. Proper foot care is a valuable first step in keeping you healthy.