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    D E S C R I P T I O N

    Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not make or cannot properly use insulin, which is needed to convert food into energy. The exact cause of diabetes is unknown; however, both heredity and lifestyle seem to be factors. Untreated, diabetes can lead to kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, stroke or amputation of limbs due to nerve damage.

    The two main types of diabetes are:

    1. Type 1 - In this form of the disease, the body does not make any insulin at all. It occurs most often in children and young adults.

    2. Type 2 - In type 2 diabetes, which represents nine out of 10 cases of the disease, the body does not properly respond to the insulin it produces.


    R I S K

    The primary risk factor for type 1 diabetes is having a parent or sibling who also has type 1 diabetes.

    Risk factors for type 2 include being age 45 or older, overweight or a member of a high-risk ethnic group. It is also more prevalent in people who have a family history of diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides or a history of diabetes during pregnancy.


    S Y M P T O M S

    Diabetes symptoms include increased thirst, greater need to urinate, fatigue, mood swings, nausea, increased appetite, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, dry skin, tingling in the hands or feet and hard-to-heal infections.


    T R E A T M E N T

    Type 1:

    • Insulin injections
    • Diet
    • Regular exercise

    Type 2:

    • Weight loss if overweight
    • Diet
    • Regular exercise
    • Insulin shots or pills if blood sugar levels do not respond to lifestyle changes alone


    P R E V E N T I O N

    The tendency toward diabetes runs in families. If you have a family history of the disease, you may be able to decrease your risk for type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

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