CDC Recommends Hepatitis B Vaccine for People with Diabetes

Attention diabetics!! Have you been vaccinated for hepatitis B? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends this vaccine for people ages 19 through 59, who have diabetes. Individuals 60 and over should discuss potential vaccine benefits with their healthcare provider. Read more...
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What You Need to Know About Diabetes

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to use the food you eat to make energy. It is no surprise that our bodies depend on food for energy, but have you ever stopped to think about how nutrients in the cheeseburger you ate for lunch actually get into your bloodstream? From there, how do they get into your other tissues and organs to keep them working efficiently?

After you eat, foods are broken down into simple sugars; most commonly glucose. All the cells of your body use glucose for energy. After you eat and digest your food, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream from your stomach and intestines. From there it is transported to the rest of your body.

Glucose is of no use if it cannot move from the bloodstream into individual body cells. For this to occur, insulin is needed. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Without enough insulin, glucose becomes trapped in the blood stream causing high blood sugar levels. Some individuals have enough insulin, but their body cells do not respond to it; they are said to be “insulin-resistant”. Whether caused by lack of insulin or insulin resistance, a high sugar level in the blood (hyperglycemia) is the hallmark of diabetes.

Common Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes occurs mostly in children and young adults. It usually comes on suddenly when the pancreas abruptly stops producing normal amounts of insulin. It is not completely clear why this happens but is probably related to the individual’s immune system. People with Type 1 Diabetes require insulin; usually in the form of a shot. About 5 – 10% of all diabetes is Type 1.

Type 2 Diabetes usually occurs in adults, though rates in young people (including children) are rising. It comes on more gradually than Type 1 disease. This form of diabetes occurs when a person’s cells are resistant or unable to respond to the insulin that the body makes. Many things contribute to Type 2 Diabetes: age, obesity, lack of exercise, and family history (genetics). Certain ethnic groups have higher rates of diabetes. African Americans, American Indians, and those of Hispanic origin are at greater risk. Though its cause is different than Type 1 disease, the outcome is the same; high blood sugar. About 90-95% of all diabetes is Type 2.

Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Some women become insulin-resistant because of added weight and immune system stress caused by pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after delivery. Even so, these women are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Though diabetes can cause serious health problems, it is treatable. New medications and new insulin-delivery methods have made it easier for people with diabetes to manage their disease. With the help of doctors, nurses, diabetic educators, and nutritionists those with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives than ever before.

The hospitals in our community offer diabetes education throughout the year. For information about opportunities for diabetes education near your home see:

Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic Diabetes Care Services
FF Thompson Hospital Diabetes and Nutrition Therapy Center
Finger Lakes Health Diabetes Education

Links and Resources
National Diabetes Education Program
American Diabetes Association