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Nearly 16 million people in the United States have diabetes, the disease classified as a problem with insulin. The problem could be that your body does not make insulin, does not make enough, or it simply does not know how to use it properly. Diabetes is also known as "diabetes mellitus".

There are many types of diabetes. The two I will be discussing are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 generally affects young people and requires treatment with insulin. Five to ten percent of Americans with diabetes have this type. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin and need regular shots of it to keep their blood glucose levels normal. People who are at risk for type 1 are those who have a family history of the disease, those of age twenty and younger, and Caucasians. Diabetes strikes all races, but is more common among whites.

Type 2 usually develops after the age of forty. This affects ninety to ninety-five percent of Americans with diabetes. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin, but the cells in the body are "insulin resistant". They do not respond properly to the hormone, so glucose accumulates in the blood. Insulin resistance increases as weight increases and physical activity decreases. Many Americans with type 2 are obese and weigh at least twenty percent more then what is recommended for that person's height. Some type 2 diabetics must inject insulin, but most people can

control the disease with exercise, weight loss, and oral diabetes medications. People at risk for type 2 diabetes are overweight, do not exercise, and they are over thirty. Type 2 also runs in families.

The symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, extreme thirst, fatigue, weight loss, hunger, and infections t...

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... insulin. This makes the body more sensitive to the insulin that already exists. The medications, rosiglitazone(Avandia) and pioglitazone(Actos), help to reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections in some

people. Some type 2 diabetics may need to take insulin if the blood glucose levels stay above goals set by the doctor. The amount of insulin needed depends on age, weight, exercise level, and how difficult the blood sugar is to control.

In conclusion, diabetes can develop gradually over many years, often without symptoms. It is possible for the disease to remain undetected long enough to prevent damage. Luckily for most diabetics, methods of diabetes control have improved over the years. New medications and easier ways to take insulin allow most people who develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes to live a long and healthy life.

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