Did you know almost 10% of the population has some form of diabetes? What's more, roughly one in four of these individuals don't even know they have it.
Diabetes is a deadly, chronic disease that can lead to severe conditions, including heart disease, stroke, dental disease, nerve damage, and even death. The two most common forms of diabetes are type I diabetes and type II diabetes. While their impacts on the body are similar, the two variations of the disease attack affected people much differently.
Type I diabetes
Type I diabetes arises when the body cannot make insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate glucose in the blood. Insulin effectively turns blood sugar into energy while also assisting the body in storing unused blood sugar as fat for later use.
When your body cannot produce insulin, you must receive it in other ways. The most traditional way is via a shot administered twice each day, and this treatment is essential for survival. The diagnosis typically comes at a young age, and with the proper treatment, it is incredibly manageable.
Type II diabetes
While type I diabetes arises when the body cannot make insulin, type II diabetes rears its ugly head when the body is fully capable of producing insulin but doesn't do it well. It is a much more common form of diabetes, and it is completely preventable – even reversible.
When a person is diagnosed with type II diabetes, their blood sugar is too high, and the body has difficulty regulating its transference. If too much glucose stays in your blood, it can lead to similar issues associated with type I diabetes.
Type II diabetes is often seen in overweight or obese individuals over 45, though it can affect children in certain cases. The best way to stave off type II diabetes is with a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you fear you may be pre-diabetic (when your blood sugar levels are high but not yet high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis), here are some things you can do to manage the situation:
- Daily walks. Exercise is one of the keys to beating diabetes. Dedicate yourself to 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week to help your body use up that stored energy.
- Eat more greens. Green, leafy food is the key to a longer, happier life. The antioxidants and micronutrients present in almost all vegetables are essential to fighting off diseases – including diabetes.
- Watch your sugar intake. Sugar is difficult to give up entirely, especially when you harbor an addiction to it. Taking baby steps might be the best way for you to overcome your sugar addiction. First, try cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume (i.e., instead of eating three cookies every night, try limiting yourself to two). Then, make an effort to switch from refined to natural sugar (for example, honey or cane sugar instead of artificially flavored syrups and Domino sugar). It might even be wise to track the amount of sugar you eat each day. That way, you understand what your current baseline is and can speak to your doctor about where you need to be.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. November is American Diabetes Month.