What Is Diabetes

w w hile diabetes has long been part of human life, its frequency has rocketed upward in recent years. In the last two decades, the number of people with diabetes around the world has risen from 30 million to 230 million. That number is expected to keep climbing and reach 350 million by 2025. The World Health Organization has declared diabetes the health hazard for the twenty-first century.

The situation is no different in the United States, where this disease is now the seventh leading cause of death. From 1997 to 2003, the numbers of Americans diagnosed with diabetes rose by an astounding 41 percent. By 2007, 8 percent of all the people in this country—24 million—had diabetes. More than 6 million of those people do not realize they have the disease, which puts them at great risk. Researchers say the diabetes epidemic will continue to grow worse, since more than 57 million additional Americans have a condition called prediabetes, or high blood sugar not yet at diabetic levels. These people have a high likelihood of developing full-blown diabetes.

This epidemic is creating serious problems for children. In the past, diabetes of any kind was uncommon in kids. Today, however, tens of thousands of young Americans have diabetes, and "of all babies born [in America] in 2000, one-third will be-

come diabetic sometime in their lives unless they begin eating a lot better and getting a lot more exercise,"6 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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