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Diabetes, a disease characterized by too much sugar in the bloodstream, affects an estimated 23 million people in the United States alone. Approximately 5 million of these people have not been properly diagnosed. More than 55 million people in the United States are estimated to have prediabetes, a condition in which glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes, if not properly addressed, can result in type 2 diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is less common than type 2, but more serious. Type 1, also referred to as "insulin-dependent" or "juvenile" diabetes, is most often seen in children. The bodies of people with type 1 diabetes are either unable to produce insulin (the hormone that carries sugar from the bloodstream to the cells), or produce far too little. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day.
Type 2 diabetes affects up to 95 percent of diabetes sufferers. In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use insulin properly, which results in a build-up of sugar in the bloodstream. Often, healthy lifestyle choices, including exercise and a proper diet, can help address the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Causes of diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of the disease, or having a history of developing diabetes during pregnancy. Symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, excessive thirst, blurry vision, and weight loss.
The Hormone Health Network offers many resources for individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as diabetes caregivers—people who are looking after loved ones with diabetes. Learn more about diabetes symptoms, the types of diabetes, causes of diabetes, treatment options, and more in the fact sheets and guides offered below.