National Diabetes Month is observed every November to draw attention to diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. Diabetes is a lifelong disease. People with diabetes need to manage their disease to stay healthy. To understand why insulin is important in diabetes, it helps to know more about how the body uses food for energy.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled. One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news? People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include: eating healthy, increasing physical activity, and losing weight.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
People with diabetes are at risk of losing sight due to diabetic retinopathy. It is the leading cause of vision loss in adults of working age (20 to 65 years) in industrialized countries,74% of people who have diabetes for 10 years or more will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy. All people with diabetes-both Type 1 and Type 2–are at risk. That’s why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.
Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in people with pre-diabetes. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, which is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking, also is important. The lifestyle change program offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by CDC, can help participants adopt the healthy habits needed to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Even if you experience no symptoms and are in good health, You should be getting a yearly fasting blood glucose test. If results are out of normal range your physician will order an A1C hemoglobin test, which shows a 2-3 month average of your blood sugar levels. There isn’t a cure for diabetes. It doesn’t mean you can have the chocolate bar every once in a while, but you should definitely watch what you put in your mouth (even if you aren’t a diabetic) Try water when you’re thirsty (only 1 glass of soda a day) Don’t eat sweets when you’re hungry and exercise for 3-5 hours a week. This will prevent diabetes. I also recommend seeing a doctor to make sure that you do not have diabetes.