An estimated 26 million Americans have diabetes, a disease in which there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. About 7 million of them, however, have not yet been diagnosed with the disease.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body can't use insulin properly. Insulin helps carry sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Once inside the cells, sugar is converted into energy for immediate use or stored for the future. That energy fuels many of our bodily functions.