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Diabetes Mellitus, often referred to as just "diabetes," is a disease of the pancreas. This vital organ produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control. That's approximately nine percent of the U.S. population. There is no cure for this chronic disease, but some things can be done to minimize the damage caused by diabetes.

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1. Risk Factors for Diabetes

The following factors increase the risk of developing diabetes: a family history of diabetes, weighing 20 percent or more than your target weight, use of certain medications, an injury to the pancreas, already having an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heavy alcohol use, smoking, and age (advanced age increases the risk.)

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.