What Are Some Facts About Diabetes on WebMD?


Quick Answer

In the United States, roughly 23.6 million people have diabetes, which is 7.8 percent of the population, as of 2015, according to WebMD. Approximately 5.7 million of those people have not been diagnosed, leaving about 17.9 million people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes.

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Full Answer

Approximately 1.6 million people over the age of 20 are diagnosed with diabetes annually, states WebMD. Diabetes occurs when a person's pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when a person's cells do not respond to insulin properly. This causes glucose to pass out of the body, overflow into urine and build up in the blood and prevents the body from processing glucose as an essential fuel.

The three types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, notes WebMD. Many people assume that people with diabetes must follow a specific diet, but the truth is that diabetics simply need to eat healthy foods, such as lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

Sugar-free foods are not always appropriate for a diabetes diet, as they often contain a significant amounts of carbs and/or calories, according to WebMD. People with diabetes can eat small portions of dessert foods as long as they keep track of their carbs and calories.

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