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About Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops when the body doesn't make enough insulin, or doesn't use insulin properly. Insulin helps glucose, a form of sugar manufactured by the body from food, enter cells and make the energy the body needs. A person with diabetes must control the amount of glucose in the blood to avoid medical complications, such as loss of vision, heart attack, amputation or kidney disease.

Awareness and Symptoms

An estimated 30 million Americans have diabetes; however, approximately 6 million of these people don't even know it. In addition, it is estimated that over 84 million Americans have "pre-diabetes" and most will develop diabetes within 10 years.

Since early detection and treatment of diabetes are the keys to reducing your chances of developing serious medical complications, it's important to know the following symptoms of diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision

If you have one or more of these symptoms, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.