Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases sharing the common characteristic of high blood sugar levels. Diabetes happens when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or when the insulin that is produced in the pancreas cannot work adequately. When diabetes is not well controlled, it can
cause serious complications and premature death.
The continued rise in the number of people with diabetes in the United States is alarming. More
than 21 million Americans have diabetes; most of them type 2. This represents about 7 percent of the population and more
than 6 million of these do not know they have the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC also reports that another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that is developed
before type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease and
nerve damage. Also, two-thirds of people with diabetes die from heart disease.