Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin, a hormone that acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body its cells for use as energy.
With type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. When there is not enough insulin or when cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Key Facts

– More than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, and more than 84 million have prediabetes.

– Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among working-age adults aged 20-74 years.

– More than 60% of leg and foot amputations not related to accidents and injuries were performed on people with diabetes.

– The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

– About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes has chronic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure.

– Good diabetes care (including self-care) and diabetes self-management education are key to living well with diabetes.

– People with prediabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but they can take action to prevent or delay developing the disease.