What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body doesn’t make or use the hormone insulin properly. It causes too much blood glucose (sugar) to build up in the blood. There are 2 main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce any insulin. It is sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it is usually discovered in children and teenagers, but it may appear in adults, too. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin as it should. In the past, doctors thought that only adults were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, an increasing number of children in the United States are now being diagnosed with the disease. Doctors think this increase is mostly because more children are overweight or obese and are less physically active.
Symptoms of diabetes
Symptoms vary from person to person. The early stages of diabetes have very few symptoms. You may not know you have the disease. But damage may already be happening to your eyes, your kidneys, and your cardiovascular system.
Common symptoms include:
Although diabetes can’t be cured, you can still live a long and healthy life. The single most important thing you can do is control your blood sugar level. You can do this by eating right, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and, if needed, taking oral medicines or insulin.