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Diabetes is a serious disease where your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Our bodies get glucose or sugar from the food we eat and use it for energy. Normally, a hormone called insulin helps turn food into energy. Everyone needs insulin to use the food we eat for energy. When a person has diabetes, the body either doesn’t make insulin or cannot use insulin well.

diabetes blood test
  • Type 1 diabetes

    • In type 1 diabetes the body does not make insulin.

    • Insulin helps the body use the glucose from food for energy.

    • People with type 1 need to take insulin every day.

  • Type 2 diabetes

    • In type 2 diabetes the body does not make or use insulin well.

    • People with type 2 often need to take pills or insulin.

    • Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes

    • Gestational Diabetes may occur when a woman is pregnant.

    • Gestational diabetes raises a woman’s risk of getting type 2 diabetes for the rest of her life.

    • It raises her child’s risk of being overweight and getting type 2 diabetes.

  • Diabetes in Children

    • Students with diabetes require special management of their health care needs at school to allow them to access the same educational opportunities as their peers and to keep them safe at school.  

    • Colorado Kids with Diabetes website provides toolkits for families, school nurses, and health care providers. http://www.coloradokidswithdiabetes.org/

  • Pre-diabetes or High Risk for Diabetes

    • Pre-diabetes is a condition in which people have blood glucose (blood sugar) levels higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

    • People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

  • Diabetes Complications

    • Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of the foot or leg.

    • It is important that people with diabetes make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, and be physically active every day.


CDC Registry of Recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs in Colorado


Contact Information
Colorado Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Prevention Services Division
Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch
4300 Cherry Creek Dr S
Denver, CO  80246
Tel: 303-692-2512
  • Are You at risk for Diabetes?

    • Nearly 6 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it.  You may have no signs or symptoms.  Symptoms can also be so mild that you may not even notice them.  Many people do not find out they have diabetes until they have complications, such as blurry vision or heart trouble.  If you find out early, then you can get treatment to prevent damage to your body.

  • Diabetes Symptoms

    • Increased thirst

    • Increased hunger

    • Fatigue

    • Increased urination, especially at night

    • Weight loss

    • Blurred vision

    • Sores that do not heal

  • Should I Be Tested for Diabetes?

    • Anyone 45 years or older should consider getting tested for diabetes.  If you are 45 or older and overweight-see the BMI chart – getting tested is strongly recommended. If you are younger than 45, overweight, and have one or more of the risk factors, you should consider getting tested.  Ask your doctor for a fasting blood glucose test or an A1C test.  Your doctor can tell you if you have normal blood glucose, pre-diabetes, or diabetes.

  • Risk Factors

    • You are 45 years or older.

    • You are overweight or obese.

    • You have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.

    • Your family background is Alaska Native, American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.

    • You have had gestational diabetes, or gave birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

    • Your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or above, or  you have been told that you have high blood pressure.

    • Your cholesterol levels are not normal. Your HDL cholesterol-"good" cholesterol-is below 35 mg/dL, or your triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL.

    • You exercise fewer than three times a week.

    • You have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS- women only.

    • On previous testing, you had impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

    • You have other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as a condition called acanthosis nigricans, characterized by a dark, velvety rash around my neck or armpits.

    • You have a history of heart disease.

  • Risk Tests


Diabetes Prevention Program 

Estimates show one in three Coloradans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within six years. Community groups across Colorado are offering the Diabetes Prevention Program, a program proven to help those with pre-diabetes avoid the serious health consequence of type 2 diabetes by making small lifestyle changes.

To learn more, call 1-800-DIABETES.



  • Preventing Diabetes

    • People at risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes by losing a little weight.  You should target weight loss of between 5% and 7%.  For example, a 5% to 7% weight loss for a 200 pound person would be 10 to 14 pounds.  You can also reduce your risk by exercising regularly, reducing your fat and calorie intake, lowering your blood pressure and lowering your cholesterol levels.

  • Managing Diabetes

    • Many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications by following recommended medical advice and preventive lifestyle changes.

    • Diabetes self-management education (DSME) programs in Colorado:

    • Day-to-day diabetes care is up to you.

      • Choosing what, how much, and when to eat

      • Getting physically active

      • Taking medicine (if your doctor prescribes it)

      • Checking your blood glucose (if your doctor prescribes it)

      • Going to your appointments

      • Learning all you can about diabetes

      • Learning about your health care benefits for diabetes education

      •  Asking your doctor for a referral to a diabetes education program


  • Diabetes Facts in Colorado

  • Diabetes Facts in the United States

    • National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management and Support 2012 - Diabetes Educator Journal article

    • Comparing the Processes: Accreditation and Recognition - Diabetes Spectrum Journal article comparing the American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators self management programs

    • 25.8 million people in the United States (8.3% of the population) have diabetes. Of these, 7.0 million have undiagnosed diabetes.

    • In 2010, about 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older.

    • If current trends continue, 1 of 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050.

    • Among adults, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of feet and legs not related to accidents or injury.

    • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2007.

    • A person with diabetes has a shorter life expectancy and about twice the risk of dying on any given day as a person of similar age without diabetes.

    • On average, medical expenses for a person with diagnosed diabetes are more than twice as much as the expenses of a person without diabetes.