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Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions people have about diabetes. For more information, please visit our Managing Diabetes resources. We believe that the more you know, the better you’ll be able to manage your diabetes while living a healthy lifestyle.

Q. How many Americans have type 1 diabetes?
A. More than one million.

Q. At what ages are children normally diagnosed?
A. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 and 12, although it can occur at any age.

Q. What is type 1 diabetes caused by?
A. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing too many cells in the pancreas. It is NOT caused by poor diet or eating too many sweets.

Q. Do people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin? When is type 2 diagnosed?
A. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but their bodies are unable to use it effectively. Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adulthood. With more and more children becoming overweight, type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in young people in almost epidemic proportions.

Q. By taking insulin, will that cure diabetes?
A. Taking insulin is NOT a cure for any type of diabetes, nor does it prevent the possibility of future complications like kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, stroke and premature death.

Q. Does type 1 diabetes run in families?
A. Type 1 diabetes tends to run in families. Brothers and sisters of children with type 1 diabetes have about a 10% chance of developing the disease by age 50.

Q. How often does death occur from diabetes?
A. Diabetes kills one American every three minutes.

Q. At what rate is diabetes diagnosed?
A. A new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 40 seconds. That’s 30,000 Americans per year. Of that 30,000, over 13,000 are children. That makes 35 children each and every day.

Q. How does diabetes affect health care cost?
A. Diabetes accounts for more than $132 billion of annual health care costs in the U.S. Indirect costs resulting from lost workdays, restricted activity days, mortality and permanent disability due to diabetes totals nearly $40.8 billion annually.

Q. Does diabetes need daily attention?
A. Diabetes needs constant attention. Blood sugars must be carefully monitored⎯some people check at least 6 times per day.

Q. Are there any outside factors that can affect the blood sugar?
A. Many factors affect a person’s ability to control their blood sugar when on insulin such as stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, increase or decrease in physical activity, medications, illness, infection and fatigue.

Q. What is the life expectancy for people with diabetes?
A. Life expectancy for people with diabetes is far better now than ever before. Please see what The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation has to say.
Source: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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