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Diabetes is a collection of diseases that result from an inability to properly produce or properly process insulin. Nearly 26 million people currently have diabetes; it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020 more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or be prediabetic.

Diabetes is a chronic illness and a lifelong health challenge. Effective treatment involves maintaining near-normal blood glucose levels through the use of oral medications, injections of insulin, and careful monitoring of blood glucose. This treatment also requires attention to the patient's lifestyle. Patients must be encouraged to behave in ways that help them build up physiological reserves through sleep, exercise, and nutrition. For many people the need for encouragement or ...

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