It is well known that diabetes contributes to a number of serious health problems. What is less well understood, but very important, is that these problems can often be prevented or delayed when diabetes is carefully managed. Diabetes management is a team effort involving you, your doctor and your diabetes educators, including a dietitian, nurse and other specialists.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is a kind of sugar that the cells in your body use for fuel. Glucose builds up in the blood when your body produces too little insulin or when your body does not use insulin efficiently. Insulin is the hormone made up of protein that helps glucose get into cells throughout the body.  When there is not enough insulin or it is not effective, glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells of the muscles and organs, causing two problems. First, in the short term, your cells may be starved for energy. Second, over time, high glucose levels in the blood may damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart, leading to the long-term complications of diabetes.

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