November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
Here’s what you should know about diabetes and how to reduce your risk of becoming pre-diabetic.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way your body uses food for energy.
Normally your body takes the sugars in the foods you eat and breaks them down into glucose; which can then circulate through the blood to your cells to be used as fuel. Your pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the cells. A healthy pancreas adjusts the amount of insulin according to how much glucose is in your blood.
But when you are diabetic this process breaks down; insulin is unable to deliver glucose to the cells and your blood sugar levels become too high.
What are the Different Types of Diabetes?
Type 1 –
- Typically appears before you turn 40
- Develops if your body can’t produce insulin
- Cause is unknown. But, it causes the body’s white blood cells to mistakenly attack the insulin-producing pancreatic cells
Type 2 –
- Typically appears after you turn 40
- Develops when your body can produce insulin, just not enough or the insulin you do produce doesn’t work properly
- Low activity level, poor diet, excessive weight (especially around the waist), and family history of diabetes significantly increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
What does Diabetes affect?
Blood Sugar. Leads to persistently elevated blood sugar levels.
Heart. Can increase your susceptibility to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Kidneys. Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys, and lead to kidney disease.
Nerves. Diabetes can cause nerve damage; making the hands and feet hurt, tingle, or feel numb.
Eyes. Diabetes can cause problems with the eyes, including blindness.
How to Avoid Diabetes?
Exercise. Exercise helps keep a healthy blood sugar level, maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, and improve your sleep.
Eat Healthy. Eat a balanced diet low in saturated fats and sugars in order to maintain a healthy weight and blood sugar level.
Manage Your Weight. Make sure you are at a healthy weight for your body type, and take special notice to any weight gain around your midsection. Overweight individuals can reduce their risk of Type 2 Diabetes by losing 7% of their body weight.
Fast Facts brought to you by the Center for Disease Control.
29.1 Million people have diabetes; that’s about 1 out of every 11 people.
1 out of 4 don’t know they have diabetes.
86 Million people – that’s 1 in 3 adults – are pre-diabetic.
9 out of 10 people don’t know they have pre-diabetes.