1. Home
  2. Services
  3. Diabetes
  4. What Is Diabetes

what is diabetes?

Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or cannot use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood.

Comprehensive diabetes information is crucial to understanding the differences between the three main types of diabetes and developing a plan for diabetes treatment. Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin. Symptoms of diabetes vary depending on the type of diabetes you have.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

Early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and irritability

Type 2 Diabetes*

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts or bruises which are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections

*Persons with type 2 diabetes often have no symptoms

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes where increased blood glucose is present during pregnancy. Usually there are no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild and not life threatening to the pregnant woman. Often diabetes treatment is unnecessary after delivery because blood glucose levels usually return to normal after delivery.

The risk of developing diabetes is increased later in life. All types of diabetes are harmful to your health, but in many cases symptoms of diabetes can be managed. For more diabetes information, contact the Emory Decatur Hospital Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center at 404.501.1790.

What are the Health Risks of Diabetes?

Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems, such as numbness in the feet, skin infections, high blood pressure and kidney disease as well as glaucoma and other eye problems. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many persons with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications.

contact us

contact us online bill pay access my account

Emory Decatur Hospital
2701 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033

Emory Hillandale
2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway
Lithonia, GA 30058



in the News
Visit Press Releases