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Diabetes Overview

Diabetes is a group of conditions resulting from the body’s inability to make insulin, use insulin effectively, or both. There are different types of diabetes that can affect adults and children of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. These types include:

  • Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, commonly known as juvenile or childhood diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus that can occur in adults or children
  • Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy
  • Prediabetes or having blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high-enough to diagnose diabetes

Diabetes requires constant monitoring in order to maintain blood sugar and insulin levels. Untreated diabetes or complications from diabetes can result in:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Circulatory problems
  • Lower-extremity amputations
  • Death

In 2012, diabetes cost the U.S. $245 billion and is expected to exceed $500 billion by 2020. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 95% of all diabetic cases in the United States and is preventable with regular physical activity and healthy weight loss. Having prediabetes puts one at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Resources to Learn More

Types of Diabetes
This is a detailed overview of type 1 and type 2 diabetes written for individuals with diabetes and their families to better address diabetes care and management.
Organization(s): National Institute of Health

Causes of Diabetes
Here you can learn about the causes and clinical nature of diabetes in greater detail.
Organization(s): National Institutes for Health

Do I Have Prediabetes?
This is an interactive web-based risk assessment for people to identify if they have prediabetes.
Organization(s): Ad Council