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The pancreas makes insulin to help cells use glucose for energy. Diabetes describes the situation where insulin function in the body is abnormal.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in people younger than 40 where the body's immune system destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
More than 80% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
Poorly controlled diabetes increases blood sugar levels in the bloodstream and in the long-term, affects the small blood vessels in the body, which can lead to multi-organ failure. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause vascular disease leading to heart attacks, strokes, limb amputations, kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy).
Diabetes prevention and control include eating a well balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and routinely exercising, and keeping active.