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A refresher on the most common diabetes diagnoses

Last Modified: January 03, 2024

Diseases & Disorders


This post was written based on an appearance by Emily Schroeder, MD, PPG – Endocrinology, on the medical call-in program PBS Healthline.

Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar, or blood glucose, is elevated. This can be attributed to different factors. The high blood sugar can lead to other issues, including damage to the nerves, kidneys, heart and eyes.

In Indiana, about 12% of adults have diabetes. While there are online questionnaires and assessments, it’s best to speak with your primary care provider about their risk of developing the condition and the appropriate testing to evaluate the potential for having or developing diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the pancreas stops making enough of a hormone called insulin. This used to be referred to as juvenile diabetes, as it’s most often diagnosed in children, however, we know that many people are being diagnosed at older ages as well.

Type 1 diabetes is almost always treated with insulin. Unlike other types of diabetes, type 1 cannot be prevented through lifestyle modifications.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops when you have too much sugar, also called glucose, in your blood. The body can’t use the insulin properly, also referred to as insulin resistance, which can lead to several complications.

There are multiple therapies available to manage type 2 diabetes, like medications to control blood sugar or aid with weight loss. Lifestyle modifications can help manage type 2 diabetes, including increasing exercise, changing the diet and reducing body weight. These strategies can help lower the risk of heart or kidney disease, as well as nerve damage.

Read more about microvascular complications here.  

Experts believe there is a multi-genetic connection to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so if one or both of your parents had diabetes this can put you at an increased risk.


In Indiana, about one-third of adults have prediabetes, which puts you at increased risk of developing diabetes. If you learn that you have prediabetes, the good news is there are things you can do to address your risk, including:

  • Nutrition modifications – decrease processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Weight loss
  • Increase exercise
  • Medication
  • Participate in an online prevention program, like this one

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is common for those who have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, as insulin resistance often happens during pregnancy. Typically, the blood sugar goes back to normal following delivery, though it can develop into diabetes after the baby arrives.

Monitoring your blood glucose

Generally speaking, a fasting blood glucose above 126 or above 200 after eating, is assigned to someone living with diabetes. Most people should be at an A1C less than 7.

Read our post on Understanding your A1C here.

Symptoms can vary, and your unique goals and risk factors should be discussed with your primary care provider, but any of the following symptoms would warrant concern:

  • Feeling intense thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling weak or lightheaded
  • Nausea or vomiting

To monitor your blood glucose, the traditional tool is a glucometer, which involves a needle prick and blood test strip. There are also continuous glucose monitors, which can provide weeks of data, sent right to your phone!

Managing diabetes

For most people, it takes a team to manage your diabetes. This team can include your primary care provider, an endocrinologist, a diabetes educator and a dietitian, among other resources. The goal is to manage your diabetes at home.

The ABCs of managing diabetes are:

A – A1C test can be done at your doctor’s office and helps assess your blood sugar over the previous three months.
B – Blood pressure needs to be well controlled always, but particularly for those with diabetes.
C – Cholesterol can be checked with a blood test at your doctor’s office. We know that elevated cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and this is more so in those with diabetes.

A diabetes diagnosis means a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney problems, nerve problems, ulcers and foot infections, and eye problems. This is why those with diabetes must get annual foot and eye exams. Blood tests are also an important piece of monitoring the disease.

Medication is part of diabetes management for many. If you have trouble securing or affording your prescriptions, speak to your provider, as they might be able to assist with the financial burden of your medication plan.

A partnership for better health

Purchasing the medical and wellness products you need to enhance your health journey is now easier than ever. Parkview and Best Buy have teamed up to provide you with a specially curated selection of products that are recommended by the Parkview healthcare providers you trust. It’s a partnership built on helping you simply and conveniently achieve your health goals. View the Diabetes Management selection here.

Note: This website is regularly updated as new products become available. Prices will also be updated to reflect any sales or special offers from Best Buy. 



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