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Diabetes                                                                                                         

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According to the American Diabetes Association, there are over 20.8 million people in the United States who have diabetes.  Diabetes is a disease caused by the body not properly using or producing the hormone insulin.  Insulin is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy that can be used by the body’s cells.  Although there is still a lot unknown about how people develop diabetes, there are several factors that play a role such as genetics, obesity and lack of exercise. 

Type-1 diabetes is caused by the body’s failure to produce insulin. 

Type-2 diabetes is caused by the body failing to properly use insulin.  Some symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, hunger, weight loss, fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. 

Unless treated, diabetes can lead to poor circulation by causing blood vessels to narrow.  This may lead to several vascular diseases that can cause pain (especially in the legs), foot ulcers, the need for amputation of a limb, failure of an organ and may eventually cause a heart attack or stroke.

Because high blood glucose levels make it hard to fight infection, good diabetes control is very important. 

Revised: 08/24/10.  Copyright © 2006 Clinical Research Associates of Tidewater.  All rights reserved.

 

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