Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, refers to a family of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood glucose levels because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or because cells do not properly respond to the insulin that is produced.
Except for gestational diabetes which sometimes occurs in pregnant women, diabetes is usually a chronic (lifelong) disease. The symptoms include: frequent urination; blurry vision; increased hunger and/or thirst; fatigue; and weight loss.
According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, diabetes affects more than 25.8 million people in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. 18.8 million people have been diagnosed with the disease, and 7.0 million people are suspected of being undiagnosed. A whopping 79 million people have pre-diabetes which often comes before type 2 diabetes. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older.
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