The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. Another 84 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, a health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Take the type 2 diabetes risk test for a quick assessment of your risk.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes blood sugar levels to build up in your blood.

One way of diagnosing diabetes is taking a blood test called an A1c or hemoglobin A1c test. It is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar for the past 2-3 months. You do not have to fast or drink anything for this test. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition. A person with diabetes is at high risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious complications, such as kidney failure, blindness, and amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

You can manage your diabetes and live a long and healthy life by taking care of yourself each day. Treating diabetes includes eating healthy food choices, physical activity, taking prescribed medication and working with your health team.

Please make sure you get your A1C checked as directed by your doctor. If your doctor says you have diabetes, make sure you follow their instructions and take all medicine as prescribed. If you have diabetes and do not have a blood sugar monitor, ask your doctor to order one. MedStar Family Choice-covered blood sugar monitors include the Accu-Chek Guide meter and Accu-Chek Guide Me meter.

Contact the MedStar Family Choice Outreach department at 800-905-1722, option 1 if you have any questions or need assistance making a doctor appointment. To learn more about diabetes, please see these easy-to-understand educational videos created by MedStar Health.

Information current as of: