Diabetes is a serious chronic disease affecting more than 16,000 adults in Benton and Franklin Counties. Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.

The prevalence of diabetes continues to rise each year, making diabetes one of the most significant public health problems in the area. About 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s about 1 out of every 11 people, and 1 out of 4 do not even know they have diabetes. In Washington State, about 9% of the state’s total population has diabetes (2012), and about 1 in 3 has pre-diabetes, but most don’t know it.