SUm2013_Don't1Blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar, is vital to your health! It’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and other tissues, and it’s also the main source of fuel for your brain.

But beware too much of a good thing! Too much glucose means you have diabetes, which can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Previously known as “juvenile diabetes,” type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, though it sum2013_don't_symptomstypically appears during childhood or the teen years. In type 1 diabetes the body doesn’t produce insulin, which is needed to regulate blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is more common. It can develop at any age and is often preventable. It usually begins with pre-diabetes, which is a potentially reversible condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may result in complications such as heart attacks, stroke, and problems with circulation.

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While researchers don’t fully understand why some people develop diabetes and others don’t, it’s clear that certain factors increase the risk, including:

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