Diabetes is something that millions of Americans are affected by every year. With about 96 million Americans in danger of getting type II diabetes it’s something that needs to be taken seriously. People need to understand how to recognize when they are at risk, because once it’s done, it can’t be undone.
Facts about Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the the bodies ability to process glucose into energy. This is either due to the pancreas failing to make enough insulin, or the body stops responding to insulin all together.
Insulin in a hormone that is produced by the pancreas (part of the endocrine system) which sits just behind the stomach. This hormone tells the cells to absorb the glucose from the blood, taking it in for energy and lowing the amount of glucose in the blood (blood sugar).
This is something that should be staunchly avoided, it will change the way you live forever. People with diabetes also carry much higher risks for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease).
Type I Diabetes
Type I is thought to be caused by an autoimmune response (the bodies immune system accidentally attacks itself) that affects the bodies ability to produce insulin. Of the people who have diabetes, 5-10% of them are type I.
Because this type is almost exclusively genetic it’s usually found in children, teens, and young adults and they must take insulin in order to survive, unlike type II where they only take it to supplement their current insulin levels.
There is no known way to prevent type I from happening. Diet, exercise, or other physical activity do not seem to slow it down or prevent it.
Type II Diabetes
About 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type II. This is sad because type II is 100% preventable, but once you have it there’s no going back.
When your blood sugar goes up (eating anything with carbs, sugar, etc.) your pancreas then makes insulin to counteract, and when it goes down, it knows to stop making insulin. However, with the common American diet today, we are constantly eating sugar, carbs, caffeine, pretty much anything that you can get outside of the grocery store. This causes the pancreas to constantly produce insulin, causing the body to build up a tolerance to it.
When this happens the body pancreas needs to make more insulin to achieve the same effect. Creating a cycle that leads to the body either just ignoring insulin or the pancreas being unable to keep up. This is Type II diabetes.
This develops over many years of poor diet, and little to no exercise although it can happen sooner depending on the severity of the bad diet. While there are no real symptoms, getting your blood sugar tested can indicate whether you’re at risk or not.
This type is prevented by simply eating healthy and exercising daily.
This describes when a persons blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed. Basically when a person is on the border of being diabetic but haven’t crossed the line yet.
About 96 million Americans have Prediabetes, and even worse about 80% of those don’t know they have it. If you have this and continue on the path you’ve been on it won’t take long to become fully diabetic, and not even knowing your in danger of crossing the line can make it very easy to tip over the edge.
This puts you at risk to get type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, CKD, and more health problems associated with poor diet or no exercise. The common risk factors for prediabetes closely coincide with having high blood pressure or cholesterol.
The good news is that prediabetes is FULLY reversible. Through a healthy diet and exercise prediabetes can be fully reversed and you won’t be affected by complications concerning diabetes.
This type develops in women who are pregnant and did not already have diabetes before becoming pregnant. While this type usually subsides after the birth of the child, the risks remain for the mother and the child. Risks include increased health problems, obesity, type II diabetes for child and mother.
This occurs because when a woman is pregnant they need to supply nutrients to the baby. Because of this the body produces a hormone that makes the mothers cells more resistant to insulin, thus saving extra nutrients for the baby.
Normally the mothers pancreas will just make more insulin and everything will be fine. However in a mother who’s cells are already partially resistant to insulin (like if she was prediabetic) then the extra resistance can push them over the edge; making them diabetic for as long as that hormone is being produced (the duration of the pregnancy).
In conclusion, there is a lot to be said for diet and exercise, even more so because over 90% of all diabetes could have been prevented though good habits. Make sure that you’re making the right choices in your life to put yourself in the best possible spot to live a long and healthy life. Not only will you be saving money on countless doctors appointments and constant supply of insulin, you will be much happier overall. I hope this could help you in some way, and I hope you have a great rest of your day!