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Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes affects the way your body produces and uses insulin. In patients who are diabetic, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin it makes effectively.

Diabetes affects the way your body produces and uses insulin. In patients who are diabetic, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin it makes effectively. This leads to elevated sugar levels in your bloodstream, which can cause serious health problems later in life such as heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease, and neuropathy.

According to the American Diabetes Association, women who have diabetes are at a higher risk of having a heart attack than women without diabetes. Diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects. There are two main types of diabetes, Type I diabetes which usually occurs in children or adolescents, and Type 2 diabetes which more commonly occurs in adults. Some women develop diabetes while pregnant, referred to as gestational diabetes.

Work with your VA primary care provider to understand diabetes and what you can do to prevent and manage it.

What services does VA provide for diabetes?

VA providers can help women Veterans learn about diabetes, related risk factors, and ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. Care teams at VA are available to help diagnose and manage diabetes. Care teams include primary care providers, nurse educators, pharmacists, dieticians, and specialists (endocrinologists). You can actively participate in taking care of your diabetes by maintaining a healthy diet and staying physically active. Talk with your VA primary care provider to find out more information about the services available at VA. Services include:

  • Primary Care
  • Clinical Pharmacy
  • Endocrinology
  • Blood glucose monitoring supplies and medications
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Weight loss programs
  • Eyecare (ophthalmology and optometry) and glasses
  • Foot care (podiatry)
  • Prosthetics

How do I access services for diabetes at VA?

The first step to access services for diabetes care at VA is to contact or make an appointment with your VA primary care provider. They will help assess your needs and come up with a plan that is best for you.

If you don't already use VA health care, you you may want to use the following online tools:

Find out if you are eligible for VA health care.

Enroll in VA health care if you haven't already.

Find your local VA and make an appointment.

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The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to women's health

If you have questions or can't find what you're looking for, you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Trained women representatives can also help you with issues such as:

  • Enrolling in VA health care if you have not already
  • Setting up a medical appointment in your area
  • Answering questions about eligibility (including questions about disability ratings) and other VA benefits like employment, education, and home loans

WVCC representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Can I get disability compensation (monthly payments) or other benefits from VA related to diabetes?

Explore disability eligibility here. If you have questions, a Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) representative at your nearest regional office can explain more. Find your nearest regional office.

Where can I find more information, help and resources on diabetes?

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The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA. The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA.
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