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Diabetes What is diabetes?

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that carries sugar (glucose) from the blood to the cells where it is turned into energy. Without insulin, the sugar stays in the blood, and the person feels tired and lacks energy.

Diabetes is indicated by a level of blood sugar outside the normal range of 4 to 8 millimoles per litre. Further tests are used to make a diagnosis.

How do people get diabetes?

People may get diabetes because they have one or more risk factors. Not everyone who has risk factors will get diabetes, but having risk factors increases a person’s chances of getting the disease.

There are risk factors that can be changed and those that cannot (see lists below). And there are contributing factors, such as poverty, which can be changed, but not easily.

Risk factors that can be changed:

Risk factors that cannot be changed:

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