About Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is when the body either no longer makes a hormone called insulin or doesn’t make enough. Insulin helps regulate sugar in the blood, and when it builds up it can cause damage to the eyes, blood vessels, nerves and kidneys. In fact, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure. Nearly one in ten adults in Michigan have diabetes. It’s an epidemic.


Diabetes can permanently damage eyes and organs.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, or GDM, develops during pregnancy. If you’re diagnosed with GDM, usually during late pregnancy, you may have had diabetes before you became pregnant and didn’t detect it. GDM is when there is too much glucose in your bloodstream. While you need some glucose for energy, too much can be harmful to you and your baby. If you’ve had GDM, you qualify for the Diabetes Prevention Program. Find a class.


If you’ve had gestational diabetes, you’re 35 – 60% more likely to develop diabetes without a prevention plan.


If you’ve had gestational diabetes, you can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes later in life.

  • Regular Screening: get a test 6-12 months after your child is born. If your blood sugar is still high, but not high enough for diabetes, repeat the test every year.
  • Weight: try to reach your pre-pregnancy weight within a year. If you’re still overweight, remember that every few pounds you lose lowers your chance of developing diabetes.
  • Eat Healthy: choose whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean protein, while avoiding fatty, sugary and salty foods.
  • Be Active: walking, biking, dancing or swimming are all good ways to stay active. Just 30 minutes a day of activity helps prevent diabetes.

Did You Know?

  • GDM affects between 7% and 18% of pregnancies in the US.
  • Women who develop GDM have a 35 – 60% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Children born to women with GDM also have an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

Risk Factors

  • Weight: overweight or obese
  • Baby size: having a baby in the past weighing over 9 pounds
  • History: family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Prediabetes: glucose levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes
  • Heritage: being of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander descent

Are you ready to work to prevent diabetes?


Prediabetes is a condition where people have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In Michigan, it is estimated over 2.6 million (8.2% of the population*) adults have prediabetes.

Did You Know?

  • 86 million American adults – more than one in three – have prediabetes.
  • 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
  • Without changing lifestyle habits, 15 – 30% of people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 5 years.
  • Cut your risk in half by losing weight, eating healthy, and being more active.

Risk Factors

  • Age: especially over 45
  • Weight: being overweight or obese
  • Family: history of diabetes
  • Heritage: African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander
  • History: having gestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • Sedentary: being active less than 3 times a week.
  • High blood pressure

Find Out

It’s easy to assess whether you’re at risk of developing diabetes.