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People with Diabetes
Diabetes is a complex and costly disease that affects 1.15 million Michigan adults and 188,000 of them don't know they have it. The Diabetes and Kidney Unit at MDHHS is working to provide resources and support programs for people living with diabetes.
Ready to learn the basics of managing diabetes?
Did you know that people who receive diabetes education have a lower hemoglobin A1C? They also have a lower risk of diabetes-related health complications and depression. Diabetes education saves you time, saves you money, and enhances your quality of life.
Watch 7 animated videos showing show you the self-care steps you need to get started managing diabetes. Watch them in any order—they all include tips and strategies you can use right now.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. When your blood sugar goes up, such as when you eat certain foods, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or it isn't using the insulin as well as it should. Over time, when too much sugar stays in your blood, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease.
- Video: What is Diabetes?
- Learn how diabetes is diagnosed
- Types and Who is at Risk: There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)
- Low Blood Sugar (pdf)
- High Blood Sugar (pdf)
Who is on Your Healthcare Diabetes Team
Several members of your healthcare team can help you to manage your diabetes. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) is a service that individualizes education to your specific needs. Use the program locator below to find a service location near you. Below is additional information on making the most of your diabetes visits with your healthcare team.
Who is on your Healthcare Team?
- Video: What is a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist?
- View an alphabetical list of hospitals or click on the map location to find more information
- Find glucose meters, insulin pumps, or medications to fit your lifestyle and diabetes self-management plan. Review the Consumer Guide and discuss with your doctor.
- Your Diabetes Care Schedule
- Managing Diabetes: Five Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Team (pdf)
Keep Healthy with Diabetes
Take Charge of your Diabetes
Emotional Well-Being with Diabetes
Mental health affects so many aspects of daily life—how you think and feel, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. It could make it harder to stick to your diabetes care plan. Talk to your diabetes care team for help and discuss the many healthy ways to cope.
Preparing for Disasters and Emergencies
Food and Medication Help
Many resources are available to provide relief and ways to save on medication costs.
- Prescription Help
- You can compare pricing for your medications at pharmacies nearest you by visiting GoodRx.com.
- Check with your insurance to see if mail order is available. This will minimize exposure with picking up medications at the pharmacy.
- Check with your insurance company to see if you can get a 90-day supply instead of 30-days to minimize trips out into the community.
- Safe Storage of Insulin
If you or someone you know is struggling financially, see the resources below.
Stay Healthy During Sickness or Emergency
Diabetes Sick Day Plan
It's important to plan ahead for sick days or emergencies before they happen. If you get sick, your blood sugar can be harder to manage.
Prepare before getting sick:
- Talk to your doctor about vaccines you may need
- Keep a few weeks supply of your diabetes medications on hand
- Keep easy to fix foods in your home: Stay Healthy While Staying Home
- Make-a-plan with your doctor
If You Get Sick:
- Be Prepared for Sick Days, COVID-19 and Diabetes
- Test your blood sugar more often, about every 4 hours and keep a log for your doctor
- If your blood sugar is too low, below 70, or you feel symptoms, treat it:
- Continue to take your insulin or diabetes pills to avoid high blood sugar
- Drink extra calorie-free liquids, 4-6 ounces every half-hour. Examples:
- Sugar free soda pop
- Sugar free flavored waters (such as Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, etc.)
- Sugar free sports drinks (such as Gatorade Zero, Powerade Zero, Propel Zero)
- Caffeine free tea (hot or iced)
- AVOID DRINKS CONTAINING CAFFEINE