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About Diabetes

In simplest terms, diabetes causes your blood sugar (blood glucose) to be too high. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and circulation, the heart, kidneys, eyes and extremities.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 – usually seen in children, adolescents and young adults – requires insulin medication
  • Type 2 – once known as “adult-onset diabetes” – now seen in children and adults
  • Gestational – occurs during pregnancy

People Living with Diabetes

  • Anyone at any age – including infants – can get diabetes
  • Some 24 million people in the United States live with some form of diabetes.
  • An estimated 17 million Americans are living with Type 2 diabetes, including children.
  • About 6 million people have the disease but don’t know it.
  • Certain ethnic groups – African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders – are more likely to get diabetes.
  • Hispanic Americans are two times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

Signs of Diabetes

  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst – craving more than 10 glasses of fluids a day
  • Frequent urination – especially during the night
  • Excessive hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling of feet
  • Wounds that won’t heal
  • Infections (vaginal itching in females)
  • Sexual dysfunction (difficulty with erection)

Risk Factors

The following can increase your risk of getting diabetes:

  • Advancing age
  • Having a relative with diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Having a baby that weighs more than 9 pound at birth