Diabetes mellitus is a serious medical problem affecting millions of people in the United States alone. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
Causes of Diabetes
The cause of diabetes is a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.
Ask the Expert: Obesity
Types of Diabetes
There are two major types of diabetes:
- Type 1: An autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce any insulin, most often occurring in children and young adults. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with diabetes.
- Type 2: A metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make enough, or properly use, insulin. It is the most common form of the disease. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportion, due to an increased number of older Americans, and a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
Management of Diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medication. Regulating blood glucose levels is the key element in managing diabetes, and research has shown that tight control of blood glucose will help prevent or delay the long-term complications of the disease.
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Diabetes Education Classes
Suburban Hospital’s Diabetes Lite program offers supplemental diabetes education classes and events to the community, in partnership with Sibley Memorial Hospital. Programs include:
Diabetes Support & Continuing Education Classes
- Various locations, dates, and times available
- Free and open to everyone of all ages
- No physician referral is required to attend this program
Learn more and register at: http://events.suburbanhospital.org/event/support-groups/diabetes-support-continuing-education-meetings
- A platform to learn the latest innovate concepts and findings from leading experts in diabetes management and treatment
- Offered in the Spring & Fall. Location varies.
Pre-Diabetes Action Classes
- Offered quarterly at Suburban Hospital
- Two hour class that covers fundamentals in diabetes prevention
- Class taught by a certified diabetes educator
Learn more and register at: http://events.suburbanhospital.org/event/healthy-lifestyles/pre-diabetes-action-class-
Diabetes Self-Management Education at Sibley Memorial Hospital (in Washington, D.C.)
- Class led by certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian on successful strategies for blood glucose management and monitoring, diet/meal planning, and insulin/diabetes medication instruction.
- Weekly two hour long sessions on three consecutive weeks. Must attend all three sessions.
- Must have a referral from physician.
- Class covered by most insurance companies.
- Weekly program for women with gestational diabetes also available. For more information visit Sibley Memorial Hospital.