Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat.

With type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly. There is no cure, but it can be managed.

With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in the blood.

It’s possible to develop prediabetes. This means happens when the blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Over time, having too much glucose in the blood can damage the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease and stroke.

Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes, which is normally temporary, but can put the baby and mother at risk of complications at birth.

Blood tests can show if you have diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to a meal plan can help control diabetes, in addition to monitoring blood glucose levels and taking medicine, if prescribed.

The providers at Eugene Endocrinology are here to help diagnose, treat and counsel patients on ways to manage their diabetes.

Other resources include the American Diabetes Organization, which offers helpful information for those diagnosed with diabetes, and Cascade Health in Eugene, which offers classes, support groups and a comprehensive list of organizations, books, magazines and websites to manage the disease through proper nutrition. To learn more about the latest treatments and efforts to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes, visit JDRF.