What is diabetes?
Diabetes is when the body cannot process the foods we eat by turning it into glucose, or sugar.
Sugar is the energy that our body uses to function.
Sugar is our energy, our fuel. Sugar is to the body as gasoline is to a car. No sugar, no fuel, no activity. No gasoline, no fuel, no activity, the car will not move.
There are different types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops at a young age when the pancreas produces very little insulin, which is a hormone that allows the body to get energy from the foods we eat, or none at all.
Type 2 diabetes develops later in life making it difficult for the body’s cells to use the insulin.
When our bodies produce the sugar from the foods we eat, the pancreas produces and secretes insulin into the blood stream.
Insulin helps get the sugar into the cells in our bodies.
When someone has diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin is not being used by the body as it should.
This causes a build-up of sugar in the blood.
Too much sugar in the blood is detrimental to the body.
A build-up of sugar in the blood can cause some very serious problems, such as kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and lower-extremity amputations.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Do you know the symptoms of diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes are: frequent urination; excessive thirst; unexplained weight loss; extreme hunger; vision change; slow healing; tingling and numbness or pain in hands or feet; very dry and itchy skin; more infections than usual; bedwetting in children who didn’t wet the bed before; irritability and other mood changes; yeast infections in men and women; fruity smelling breath; nausea; vomiting; and being drowsy or lethargic.
The following tips can help prevent diabetes:
Exercise regularly, at least three to four times a week Eat healthy and eat more veggies Control your blood pressure by limiting your salt intake Quit smoking. Smokers increase their chances of getting diabetes Limit your alcohol intake. Blood pressure and triglyceride levels may increase due to alcohol intake Weight control and staying active. Prevent cardiovascular disease by keeping your cholesterol level down Keep calm and manage your stress levels Get a physical. Getting an annual physical is very important Most importantly, talk to your provider if you have diabetes symptoms or any questions or concerns about your health For more information on diabetes visit www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/symptoms, www.cdc.gov/diabetes, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/tentips/10tips.