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How do I know if I have diabetes?

Diabetes is divided into two categories: type 1 (autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells) and type 2 (resistance to the body’s own insulin). Over 90% of adult diabetics have type 2 diabetes. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity (especially abdominal fat), family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, and high birth weight. Type 1 diabetes is largely a genetic disease of the young and is unusual after the early 20s. Often diabetics have no symptoms but excessive thirst, excessive hunger, high urine output and blurry vision can occur. Fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain can occur in type 1 diabetes. These symptoms can be mild and go undetected so it is important to have regular check-ups that include a standard blood panel. If elevated levels of blood glucose are detected, your doctor may choose to check your blood glucose periodically or do further testing to come up with a formal diagnosis.

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