Thursday, March 24, 2016

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a large amount of information on their site relating to explaining what diabetes is, risk factors, living with diabetes, research and ways to give. The information I have here all originated from their website. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes, which is 9.3% of the population. Diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. There are two kinds of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1
This type is usually diagnosed in children and young adults with this population making up only 5% of those who have diabetes. In type 1, the body does not produce insulin.
What is insulin & why is it important?
When you eat your body breaks your food down into glucose and this is used for energy. Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to get glucose from your blood to the cells found in your body.
Type 2
This is the more common form of diabetes in the population. In type 2 diabetes the body does not use insulin properly. The pancreas makes insulin to compensate for this and as time passes your body cannot make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at what is considered a normal level. When glucose builds up in the blood it can immediately starve your cells of energy and over time it can hurt your eyes, kidneys and heart.

Symptoms of Diabetes
Some symptoms that the ADA lists for diabetes include urinating often, feeling very thirsty, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts/bruises that heal slowly. There are also symptoms that are specific to the type of diabetes.

There are several tests for diabetes that you can have done by your health care provider and they involve testing your blood glucose levels, and it can be as simple as a finger prick.

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
Most people who develop type 2 diabetes have prediabetes first (high blood glucose levels, but not in the range that is considered diabetes). Research has shown that you can prevent developing Type 2 diabetes by exercising, changing your diet and losing weight. Some people with Type 2 diabetes can return to normal glucose levels using these tactics as well. For more information about diabetes refer to the ADA.

What can I do to help?
We all know someone with diabetes and you can donate your time or money to efforts that promote prevention and diabetes research. The ADA has information about this and you can simply do a web search to find opportunities locally.

Diabetes is not just a problem in America; it is an issue worldwide. This year the World Health Organization has decided to make diabetes the focus of World Health Day on April the 7th. The graphic used here is part of their campaign the stop the rise of diabetes.

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