Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.

Some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat that happens when there’s not enough available insulin)
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections, such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections

The risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are similar. They include:

  • being overweight
  • a family history of diabetes
  • having a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL
  • a history of high blood pressure
  • having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
  • a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • being of African-American, Native American, Latin American, or Asian-Pacific Islander descent
  • being more than 45 years of age
  • having a sedentary lifestyle

A doctor may refer a person with diabetes or prediabetes to a nutritionist. A specialist can help a person with diabetes lead an active, balanced lifestyle and manage the condition.

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