Defend Against Diabetes - Learn About Diabetes

Eat Healthy Aim for a Healthy Weight Be Active
See Your Doctor Avoid Tobacco Learn about Diabetes

girl reading bookDiabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both.  There are 3 main types of diabetes.  

  • Type 1 diabetes: (previously called "insulin-dependent" or "juvenile-onset") is an autoimmune disorder.  It is the less common type (5-10% of all diabetes), is not related to weight or lifestyle, and can't be prevented. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin because their bodies can no longer make any.  
  • Type 2 diabetes: (previously called "non-insulin-dependent" or "adult-onset") is the most common type (90-95% of all diabetes).  People that have type 2 diabetes may still make enough insulin but their bodies can't use it properly.  They may control their diabetes with healthy eating and activity, oral diabetes medications, or insulin.
  • Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens when a woman is pregnant and usually goes away after the child is born.  However, women that have had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. 

The good news is you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Here’s how.

  • Lose 7% of your body weight if you weigh too much (see “Healthy Weight”)
  • Get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of physical activity (see “Be Active”)
  • Eat healthy--eat a variety of foods low in fat and reduce portion sizes (see “Eat Healthy”)

Know the warning signs of diabetes:

  • Having to urinate (pee) a lot
  • Being very thirsty
  • Losing weight when you’re not trying to
  • Being extremely hungry
  • Being extremely tired
  • Being angry
  • Having blurry vision from time to time
  • Your cuts or bruises heal very slowly
  • Having tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Having lots of skin, gum, or bladder infections

See your doctor if you have any of these diabetes warning signs.  Check our diabetes resources page if you need help paying for an office visit or medications.

When you take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes, you will also lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and other health problems. That’s a big reward for you and your family and friends.

Diabetes Education--you don't have to learn everything about diabetes on your own.  There are many great educators, programs, and classes throughout Nebraska to help you whether you have diabetes or are at risk.

Diabetes Prevention

More Information


Defend Against Diabetes Campaign

Diabetes Control Program Homepage