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Diabetes Type 2

Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that keeps your body from making or using insulin.  Insulin helps turn the food you eat into energy your body needs.  When you have diabetes, the process of changing food into energy doesn't work well.  If diabetes is not well managed, sugar builds up in your blood.  If your blood sugar level stays too high, it can lead to many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, amputation, and even death.

There are two types of diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your body does not make any insulin, and requires daily insulin injections to help you process the food you eat and keep your blood sugars on target.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when your body either does not make enough insulin, or it does not work well.  Many people with type 2 diabetes require medications to help them keep their blood sugars in the target range.  More than 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

What is Quality Care for Diabetes?

Getting care for diabetes, especially high quality care, is a must. What is high quality care? It's getting the care you need when you need it. High quality diabetes care starts with having a doctor who respects you, communicates clearly with you, and involves you in decisions about your care.  Quality care is care that works, care that is safe, and care that's recommended for your condition--in this case, diabetes.  This means receiving certain blood tests and exams regularly, and getting help managing blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

How does diabetes affect our community?

About one in every 10 people in Maine had diabetes in 2007, and according to the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) its prevalence continues to rise.  Maine is one of 23 states that experienced a 50% or greater increase in non-pregnancy related diabetes since 1994.  Approximately 70,000 Maine residents are estimated to have diabetes, and Maine has the highest rate of diagnosed non-pregnancy related diabetes in New England.

Compared with other rural states that have similar demographics, Maine ranked second only to West Virginia in the prevalence rate of diagnosed diabetes.  According to self-reported health data that was collected by the government, an estimated 1.1% of persons 18 to 44, 7.2% of persons 45 to 64, 11.9% of persons 64 to 74, and 12.4% of persons 75 and older have been diagnosed with non-pregnancy related diabetes.  With such high rates, it's important to take good care of yourself and utilize local and national diabetes resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010).  Diabetes. Retrieved from
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011) Diabetes. Retrieved from
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2010) How to describe the health and community context for comparative performance reports: sample language for five health topics. Princeton, NJ.

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