Prompted by the recent diagnosis of a youngster, I decided to read a little about diabetes. My grandmother and mother-in-law had it for many years, and if I’m not careful, I may, too. Reports say that 18.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 79 million have prediabetes. I fall into the last category, which with exercise & mindful eating, can prevent diabetes type 2 from developing [Diabetes Prevention Program study]. This is good news!
Basically, diabetes is a chronic disease in which too much sugar stays in the blood. This is due to insufficient insulin being produced in the pancreas, or to cells not reacting normally to insulin. Insulin moves glucose, or blood sugar, from the blood into fat, muscle or liver cells to be stored as energy. Prolonged excess sugar in the blood can adversely affect nerves, eyes, kidneys, digestion, feet, skin, make one prone to infections, or make it difficult to manage cholesterol or blood pressure. Fortunately, diet and exercise, along with maintaining a healthy weight, can prevent type 2 diabetes.
There is no prevention for type 1 diabetes, but can be treated with insulin, diet, monitoring of glucose, urine testing and visits with your health care professionals.
When diabetes is diagnosed, the American Diabetes Association has a wealth of information on the different forms of the disease, treatments & care, support groups for parents, kids camps, news & research, and so much more. Please visit their website below to learn how you can learn to manage diabetes.