What is diabetes?

There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood, and happens when your body does not make insulin or produces very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter cells and be used as fuel. With type 1 diabetes, you may have increased hunger and weight loss. 

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes happens when your body begins to have trouble responding to insulin. It can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and weight and regular physical activity. It may cause blurred vision, numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, slow-healing cuts, and frequent fungal infections. Both conditions prevent glucose from entering the cells, leading to symptoms such as extreme fatigue, excessive urination, and increased thirst.

Gestational diabetes is a similar type of diabetes as type 2, but it is first (and sometimes only) seen when you are pregnant. For more information about gestational diabetes visit the Prenatal section.

If I plan on getting pregnant, what should I know?

Try to visit your healthcare provider before getting pregnant to make sure you can optimize your glycemic control, identify any potential complications, review your medications, and begin folic acid supplements. Your healthcare team during and before becoming pregnant may include a diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, obstetrician, and endocrinologist or internist with expertise in diabetes, to make sure you can minimize any risks to you or your baby. 

When planning a pregnancy, you should aim for a glycated hemoglobin (A1c) of less than or equal to 7% (ideally less than or equal to 6.5% if possible). While pregnant, you should aim for less than or equal to 6.5% (ideally less than or equal 6.1% if possible). 

Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may have higher chances of: 

For resources on managing diabetes: