I wanted to bring awareness to diabetes. My dad suffered with diabetes for a long time. So this topic really is personal to me and that is why I wanted to bring awareness to diabetes. The national diabetes awareness month is in November. But I am going to post this often on RS, so it stays fresh in everyone’s minds.
The path to understanding diabetes starts here.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy.
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education and support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life
No matter where you are in your fight, here’s where you need to be.
Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed, have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a while, or are helping a loved one, you’ve come to the right place. This is the start of gaining a deeper understanding of how you can live a healthier life—with all the tools, health tips, and food ideas you need. Wherever you’re at with this disease, know that you have options and that you don’t have to be held back. You can still live your best life. All you have to do is take action and stick with it.
Understanding type 1
Here’s what you need to know about type 1 diabetes. 1.25 million Americans have it and 40,000 people will be diagnosed with it this year. Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age, in people of every race, and of every shape and size. There is no shame in having it, and you have a community of people ready to support you. Learning as much as you can about it and working closely with your diabetes care team can give you everything you need to thrive.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy—and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long healthy lives.
Remember: this is a condition that can be managed. By living a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and proper diet, you can live a normal life and do everything you set out to do.
Understanding type 2
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. Regardless, you have options—and tools, resources, and support to help you fight.
A key part of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. You need to eat something sustainable that helps you feel better and still makes you feel happy and fed. Remember, it’s a process. Work to find helpful tips and diet plans that best suit your lifestyle—and how you can make your nutritional intake work the hardest for you.
Fitness is another key to managing type 2. And the good news, all you have to do is get moving. The key is to find activities you love and do them as often as you can. No matter how fit you are, a little activity every day can help fight type 2 and put yourself in charge of your life.
Even if you have prediabetes …
There are many factors you can control. Prediabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. Your chances of having prediabetes go up if you:
- Are 45 or older
- Are Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
- Are overweight
- Are physically inactive
- Have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure
- Have low HDL cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- Had diabetes during pregnancy
- Have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Every 21 seconds, someone new is diagnosed.
Take action and join the fight against diabetes.
The numbers are staggering. 30 million Americans have diabetes and another 84 million have prediabetes—a number that only gets more dire when you consider its associated healthcare price tag of $327 billion. Today, diabetes causes more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Diabetes isn’t a disease—it’s an epidemic. And the time to take action is now.
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