Diabetes means that your blood sugar is too high. Your blood always has some sugar in it because the body needs sugar for energy to keep you going. But too much sugar in the blood is not good for your health. Your body changes most of the food you eat into sugar. Your blood carries the sugar to your body cells. The sugar needs insulin to get into the body cells. Insulin is a chemical (a hormone) made in a part of the body called the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the sugar from food get into body cells. If your body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin doesn't work right, the sugar cannot get into the cells. It stays in the blood. This makes your blood sugar level high, causing you to have diabetes.

What are the signs of diabetes?

The signs of diabetes are:

  • being very thirsty
  • urinating often
  • feeling very hungry or tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • having sores that are slow to heal
  • having dry, itchy skin
  • losing feeling in the feet or having tingling in the feet
  • having blurry eyesight

What type of diabetes do you have?

Type I: Some people get diabetes as children or teenagers. They usually have the kind of diabetes known as insulin-dependent diabetes. This means they need daily insulin shots.

Type II: People can get diabetes at any age. Most people get diabetes when they are over 40 or 50 years old. They usually have the kind of diabetes called noninsulin-dependent diabetes. People with noninsulin-dependent diabetes follow a special diet and may take diabetes pills. However, sometimes they need insulin shots.

This information was provided by The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This material is not copyrighted, and can be used, and is encouraged for public use.


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