Essay by Chris ParksHigh School, 10th gradeF, February 1997

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Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to properly use and store glucose. Glucose backs up in the bloodstream causing your blood glucose or 'sugar' to rise too high.

There are two major types of diabetes, Type I and Type II. In Type I diabetes, your body completely stops producing any insulin, a hormone that lets your body use glucose found in foods for energy. People with Type I diabetes must take daily insulin injections to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can happen at any age. In Type II diabetes, the body produces insulin, but not enough to properly convert food into energy. This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes.

People with diabetes often experience symptoms. Some of the symptoms are:

1)being very thirsty

2)having to go to the bathroom very frequently

3)weight loss

4)increased hunger

5)blurry vision

6)skin infections

7)wounds that don't heal

8)and/or extreme unexplained fatigue

In some cases, there are no symptoms, this happens at times with Type II diabetes. In this case, people can live for months, even years without knowing they have the disease. This form of diabetes comes on so gradually that symptoms might not even be recognized.

Diabetes can occur in anyone. However, people who have close relatives with the disease are somewhat more likely to develop it. The risk of getting diabetes also increases as people grow older. People who are over 40 and overweight are more likely to get diabetes. So are people of African-American, Hispanic or Asian heritage. Also, people who develop diabetes while pregnant are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes later in life.

There are certain things that everyone...