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Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body resists the insulin being produced. Between 90% and 95% of people diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Though diabetes can’t be cured, there are many ways to live with the disease while enjoying a long and healthy life. The most important thing to remember is to control one’s blood sugar. This can be done through:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Check or monitor blood sugar level (blood glucose level)
  • Take your medicine as prescribed (insulin injections, insulin pens or insulin pumps)
  • Avoid hypoglycemia by eating proper foods regularly

If blood sugar isn’t controlled, diabetes can be a dangerous and life-threatening disease. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage eyesight, blood vessels, nerves and kidneys. Some complications can include:

  • Blindness and vision loss
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve and blood vessel damage (called diabetic neuropathy)
  • In severe cases, parts of the foot or lower leg may have to be amputated (removed)
  • Kidney disease (called diabetic nephropathy)

The good news about diabetes is that it can often be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and controlling blood sugar levels through the ways mentioned above.