Health TopicsDiabetes


Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects over 29 million Americans, roughly 9.3% of the population, and remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. However, many adults with diabetes don't even know they have it.

There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2:

  • Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, and makes up only 5% of the diabetic population. Bodies with type 1 diabetes do not produce the insulin needed to convert sugar and starch into energy for daily life, and can be controlled with insulin therapy and other medical treatments.
  • Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, and most cases can be prevented with healthy eating and regular physical activity. Groups who are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes include: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and the elderly population. Additional risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational). 

Speak with your doctor if you're experiencing any of the Diabetes symptoms below, or have a family history of Diabetes:

  • Feeling very hungry or thirsty
  • Losing weight for no reason
  • Feeling tired or sleepy
  • Becoming irritated easily
  • Urinating frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty seeing or blurred vision
  • Skin, gum or bladder infections that happen frequently
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Slow healing cuts and bruises
  • No signs (you can have diabetes without any signs)

There are many methods of testing for diabetes. Kennedy Health Alliance primarily uses A1c testing (a measurement of your average blood glucose levels over a 3 month period). According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is diagnosed at an A1c of 6.5 or higher. KHA recommends following the testing guidelines below for patients living with diabetes: 

HbA1c  Testing Frequency
HbA1c is 5.7-6.5 Annually
HbA1c is 6.6-7.0 Every 6 months
HbA1c is >7.0 Every 3 months


Diabetes resources:


Kennedy Health Alliance offers endocrinology services for the diagnosis and treatment of hormone-related medical conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders.