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Hidden Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

You could be missing the signs of this serious condition

As many as seven million adults are living with a chronic, potentially deadly condition that they don’t even know they have. It can develop with no warning signs, and some symptoms are too subtle to notice. This silent epidemic is type 2 diabetes, and without diagnosis and treatment, it could progress with serious complications.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin, which regulates how the body metabolizes food. There are two types of diabetes: In type 1, high blood sugar (glucose) levels occur because insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. This form of diabetes (also called “juvenile diabetes” because it can emerge as early as childhood) is not related to a person’s diet and exercise habits.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin produced, and there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas.

Are you at risk for developing diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is usually hereditary; however, being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle can increase the chance of developing diabetes at an earlier age. Type 2 diabetes used to only occur in adults, but today some children are developing type 2 diabetes earlier, corresponding to childhood obesity and inactivity. Certain ethnic groups—such as African American, Pacific Islander, Asian, Native American, and Latino—have higher incidences of diabetes.

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