Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes is unknown, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

Half of all Americans who have diabetes are not aware they have the disease and some people have no symptoms at all. A simple blood sugar test only takes a few minutes and gives you immediate results. Symptoms of diabetes can include:

• Extreme thirst
• Weakness
• Itchy skin
• Skin infections
• Blurred vision
• Fatigue
• Intense hunger
• Irritability
• Fast weight loss
• Frequent urination
• Nausea and vomiting
• Numbness or tingling in extremities

It is important to know if you have diabetes so you can take good care of yourself and prevent complications.

Learn more about the Martin Health Diabetes Education Program at https://www.martinhealth.org/mhs-diabetes-education, or call (772) 223-4916.

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