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I am sure that you have heard of diabetes.  In fact, you probably know someone who has diabetes.  Maybe you yourself have diabetes.  While most of us know the term diabetes, in my opinion less people truly know the severity of the disease.  In this article, I am going to be covering some facts about diabetes that you may not be aware of, and I am going to cover more precisely what diabetes actually is.

The Ugly Truth About Diabetes

Diabetes, unfortunately, affects people all over the globe, and it is impartial to age.  Young or old, people of all ages are getting diabetes.  In the United States alone, according to a report issued by the National Diabetes Fact Sheet in January 2011, 8.3% of the United States population has diabetes.  While 8.3% may seem like a relatively low number that equates to over 25 million people.

The scary thing about diabetes is that the medical community has yet to determine a cause of diabetes.  While we know that things like environment and eating habits can be precursors to diabetes, there are a number of people who are born with diabetes without any family history of the disease.

While many people undermine the severity of the disease by minimizing its severity to merely an “insulin issue”, diabetes can often lead to other very serious diseases and health complications like heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, strokes, kidney disease, amputation, etc.  According to, diabetes took the lives of over 260,000 people in the United States in 2007.

What is Diabetes?

So, now that you hopefully have a clearer understanding of the severity and subsequent consequences of diabetes, let’s go into a little more detail about what exactly diabetes is.  Diabetes really involves two things: glucose and insulin.  When you eat food, the sugar from the food goes into your bloodstream.  What is supposed to happen, in a normal healthy body, is that the pancreas produces insulin to transport the sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells so that the body can use it as energy.  In diabetics, however, there is a problem with this process.  Let’s examine the three types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Among diabetics only about 10% of them have type 1 diabetes, according to  With type 1 diabetics, the body simply does not produce insulin at all.  Obviously this is serious problem.  As a result, type 1 diabetics are forced to take insulin injections for the rest of their lives.  Sadly, type 1 diabetes is a growing epidemic among people under twenty years of age.  According to the Center for Disease Control, type 1 diabetes rose 23% among people younger than 20 between 2001 and 2009.

Type 2 Diabetes

Contrary to type 1 diabetics, with type 2 diabetes, the body does produce insulin, but the insulin is rejected by the body.  This is known as “insulin resistance.”  Type 2 diabetes is also a greater risk to individuals who are obese.  High levels of visceral fat cause the body to release chemicals that make utilizing insulin by the body even more difficult.

These are the two main forms of diabetes.  While there is a third form called “gestational diabetes”, it is typically limited to pregnant women.

In conclusion, there is no cure for diabetes, but staying in shape, eating right, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and taking insulin as prescribed, can lead to a lifestyle where you are in control of your diabetes instead of the other way around.

Mr. Jones writes regularly about diabetes and for companies like