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Get the Facts on Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month, a time to remember the victims of this disease, support those it affects, and to pledge to fight it.

In the United States, diabetes affects nearly 26 million people—more than eight percent of the population—and many more are at risk. However, diabetes can be managed or prevented.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy.

With Type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.

Over the years, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, gum infections, and amputation.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of diabetes cases, and it is growing. You can reduce your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and consulting a medical professional about your individual needs and risk factors.

Learn more about preventing and living with diabetes and tools and medicines to help manage blood sugar.