What Is Diabetes?

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either stops making insulin (type 1 diabetes) or does not make enough insulin to convert food to energy (type 2 diabetes). As a result, the body can’t properly use and store glucose, the body’s main source of energy. If not treated, the amount of glucose in the blood can become too high which can lead to health problems.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1. A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, diagnosed in pregnancy. The good news is that people are living longer, healthier lives with diabetes. With the help of your Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance team, you can control your diabetes.


The facts speak for themselves:
  • An estimated 25.8 million Americans have diabetes and they consume 14 percent of  healthcare dollars expended.  In addition, an estimated 41 million people ages 40 - 74 have "pre-diabetes."
  • Type 2 diabetes develops primarily in overweight people who are over 40. An aging population and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle will contribute to the growing number of people who will develop this disease in the future.
  • Diabetes is a chronic disease which results in admissions to your hospital and outpatient centers for eye disease, kidney failure, heart disease, vascular and foot problems, and more.
  • On average, a person with diabetes expends nearly four times as much money on healthcare as someone who does not have diabetes.
  • Recent research has shown conclusively that the risk of certain costly and debilitating diabetes complications — including eye, kidney and nerve damage — can be decreased by 50 percent or more through effective disease management which enables people with diabetes to keep their blood sugars as close to normal as possible.


The medical complexity of diabetes requires specially trained health care professionals as well as the range of services that a quality hospital can provide. At the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at DHR, we demonstrate how a diabetes program can provide excellent, yet cost-effective, diabetes management that can prevent costly short and long-term complications.

The Joslin Diabetes Center Afilliate at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance staff of physicians, nurses, nutritionists and educators have a great deal of information about diabetes to share with you. For more information, call 956-362-5650.

A further look at diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. This will lead to the build up of glucose in the blood, also called hyperglycemia. At the same time, your cells are not getting glucose they need to function well. Over a long period of time high blood glucose levels can also damage vital organs. The blood vessels, heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves are the most commonly affected organs.

Read more about Type 1 Diabetes

In Her Own words: Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by a combination of factors. One factor is that your body begins to make less insulin. A second factor is that your body becomes resistant to insulin. This means there is insulin in your body, but your body cannot use it effectively. Insulin resistance is often related to excess body fat.

Risk factors that increase your chance for type 2 diabetes include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Eating a lot of meat
  • High blood pressure, cholesterol problems, or a history of cardiovascular disease

Read more about Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetic Control Index

A glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c) is a blood test that measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that first occurs during pregnancy. The extra glucose in the body can negatively affect the mother and the baby.

Read more about Gestational Diabetes

Ketoacidosis (Diabetic Coma; Diabetic Ketoacidosis; DKA)

Ketoacidosis occurs when a person’s blood sugar (glucose) is too high because there is not enough insulin. Instead, the body starts to burn fat for energy. Fat is broken down into acids causing acid levels to build up in the blood. These acids appear in urine and blood as ketones.

Ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can lead to coma or death if not properly treated. This condition is most commonly found in people with type 1 diabetes and but it sometimes develops in people with type 2 diabetes.

Read more about Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Ulcers are slow healing wounds on the skin. Diabetic foot ulcers occur on the feet of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, usually on the bottom of the foot. Up to 15% of people with diabetes are at risk for developing foot ulcers.

Read more about Diabetes Foot Ulcers

Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetes Nephropathy is kidney damage that occurs when diabetes affects the kidneys.

Read more about Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage associated with diabetes. It results in damage to the nerves in a person’s feet, legs, and eyes, and to the nerves that control bodily functions, such as digestion, blood pressure, and heart rate. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious complications, including ulcers, infection, and limb loss.

Read more about Diabetic Neuropathy


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Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program; Physician Self-Referral; and Patient Notification Requirements
in Provider Agreements
final rule, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd is disclosing that it is seeking an expansion
exception under Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance proudly meets the federal definition of a “physician-owned hospital” (42 CFR § 489.3).
As required by law, a list of the hospital’s physician owners or investors is available by clicking here.