Did You Know?
According to the National Diabetes fact sheet, there are 2.5 million children and adults living with diabetes in the Unites States as of November 2011? But what is even more frightening is that 7 million people are undiagnosed. Did you also know that it is a myth that eating too much sugar can cause diabetes? Getting diabetes is based on factors such as genetics and most importantly, your lifestyle.
This month we are bringing awareness to the global epidemic of diabetes. Diabetes is a preventable disease. With all the funding, research and resources, millions of people die every year. Naturally, the body knows how to compensate when something is out of order to maintain balance. But with diabetes, achieving that balance is a challenge.
Let us first look at what naturally occurs in the body. The body makes what is called insulin. Insulin is required to take up the sugar in the blood after food has been broken down. After insulin takes up the sugar, it transports it into cells all over the body. However, complications arise with diabetes when sugar stays in the blood too long. This is what coins the term diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes. There is diabetes type 1 and type 2. Diabetes type 1 is usually found in children and young adults. The problem with type 1 is that either a person’s body is not making insulin or cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for insulin, are destroying themselves. These patients must be treated with insulin for the rest of their lives.
Diabetes type 2 is the most common type around the world today. The issue with type 2 is that there is not enough insulin or the body is not recognizing the insulin that is being made. This is what healthcare professionals refer to as insulin resistance.
Importantly, you cannot detect diabetes on your own. If you do not know if you are a diabetic, please go and get tested at your physician’s office or at a pharmacy. A few signs and symptoms of diabetes (type 2) are increased eating, increased thirst and urination. These symptoms are used along with testing values to determine if you are a diabetic or not.
Preventing diabetes starts by changing your lifestyle. Cook more and eat out less. It is recommended by that everyone eats at least 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Water is also very important. Our body is mostly made up of water so not drinking enough can be harmful. Finally, you must exercise. There are so many things to do in 24 hours but the number one key to fighting diabetes is daily physical activity. As a family, find ways to work out and spend less time sitting down.
Know your status and get tested because diabetes does NOT have to take your life!
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Diabetes Translation. (2011). 2011 National Diabetes Factsheet. Retrieved from website: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/factsheet11.htm?loc=diabetes-statistics