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Twenty-nine million people in the United States have diabetes.  Diabetes is associated with heart disease and is a cause of disability and death.  As a caregiver, it is important to understand diabetes and be aware of  the symptoms. When a person has diabetes his or her body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't use the insulin produced the way it should.  About one third of the people who have diabetes don't know they have it because they don't recognize the symptoms.

 For non-pregnant adults there are two types of diabetes: type I and type II. A very small percent of people have type I where the body stops producing insulin altogether.  Most people have type II.  Being over 45, overweight and sedentary in lifestyle all increase the risk of developing type II diabetes. The most common symptoms of diabetes are increased, unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.  For some people however, there are no observable symptoms, therefore prevention is the best course of treatment. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and get glucose levels checked regularly by the doctor.

 People with diabetes need regular preventive care to avoid life threatening consequences to their hearts, kidneys, eyes and feet. Most diabetes is preventable, all diabetes is treatable.  Make certain the person you care for gets regular care to prevent the potentially devastating effects of diabetes.