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CDC estimates 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 29 million people in the U.S. are believed to have diabetes. Of those individuals in the U.S. suffering from diabetes, the CDC estimates that approximately 28 percent or roughly 8 million have not received a formal diagnosis and are therefore likely not taking appropriate measures to treat their serious medical condition.

Diabetes is categorized as a metabolic disease in which an individual has high blood glucose levels due to problems processing or producing insulin. There are two types of diabetes, Type I and Type 2. Approximately 90 percent of individuals who are living with diabetes have the Type 2 form of the disease.

For individuals with Type 2 diabetes, either their bodies don’t' produce enough insulin or they are not able to properly metabolize and use insulin that's produced. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are likely to experience a range of health complications including numbness of the feet, high blood pressure, glaucoma and skin infections. Over time, individuals with Type 2 diabetes are more prone to develop cardiovascular and kidney disease and suffer strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.

Individuals are not born with Type 2 diabetes, but rather develop the disease later in life. An individual's weight, age, genetics and overall health all play a role in the development of the disease. For example, the vast majority of individuals who are diagnosed with the disease are overweight and physically inactive. Additionally, an individual is more prone to develop the disease if a close family member has been impacted or if he or she has suffered a stroke or heart attack.

For individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it's critical to take steps to manage and treat the disease. Some individuals may need to take medication or administer insulin shots. For others, their disease may be managed by making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes and losing weight.

In cases where an individual has developed cardiovascular disease, suffered a stroke or heart attack or some other debilitating health condition; he or she may not be able to work. For these individuals, it's important to focus on finding effective ways to manage their disease and monthly Social Security disability benefits may aid in covering basic monthly expenses and bills.

Source: Medical News Today, "What is Diabetes? What Causes Diabetes?," 2014

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