What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a term used to describe a group of diseases marked by high levels of sugar (or glucose) in the blood (also known as hyperglycemia). Depending on the type of diabetes, high blood sugar might be caused by a problem with how the body makes insulin, how the body uses insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas and controls blood sugar level.
A common problem
In the U.S. alone, 29.1 million people (nearly 10% of the population) have diabetes. An estimated 86 million more people—more than 1 out of 3 adults—have prediabetes, which means they have higher-than-normal blood sugar and are at risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S.
A major health concern
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means it does not go away. This disease affects many parts of the body and, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation.
The good news
Diabetes can be treated and managed with diet, exercise, and medication. You can help prevent some of the complications associated with diabetes by controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and by not using tobacco.
Quest Diagnostics offers innovative testing for diabetes and tools that give your doctor and you the information you need to help prevent, diagnose, and manage diabetes. Talk to your doctor about diabetes testing and learn more below. Knowing what’s ahead can make all the difference.