Help Put a Stop to Diabetes During Diabetes Awareness Month
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and organizations across the country are working to spread the word on how to prevent this disease that affects millions across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define diabetes as “a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. The pancreas…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.”
You may hear people talking about diabetes as types 1 and 2.
With Type 1 Diabetes (previously known as juvenile diabetes), the body doesn’t produce insulin.Â Only about 5-10% of people with diabetes are type 1 diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, the body does not produce enough insulin or, in some cases, the body doesn’t recognize the insulin that’s produced.Â This is the type of diabetes that’s growing across the country.
In a study done in 2007, 23.6 million adults and children were noted as having diabetes: 17.9 million had been diagnosed, and 5.7 million were undiagnosed.Â It was also noted that 57 million people were considered pre-diabetic.
The American Diabetes Association stresses that early diagnosis of either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can be very crucial to decrease the possibility of future complications.Â Here are the symptoms they list to look for:
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
- Frequent Urination
- Unusual Thirst
- Extreme Hunger
- Unusual Weight Loss
- Extreme Fatigue and Irritability
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
- Any of the type 1 symptoms
- Frequent Infections
- Blurred Vision
- Cuts/Bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
- Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
It’s also important to know that people with type 2 diabetes often do not have symptoms.
This is a cause that is particularly close to me as I have a family member who’s a type 1 diabetic and have friends who are b0th type 1 and type 2.Â Because of the family history, this is a disease I’m on alert for in my own children.Â One of the most important things that I make a point of doing with my kids is to reinforce healthy eating habits, which is something we should all do with our kids.
For more information about diabetes prevention, treatment, and support, please visit the American Diabetes Association website.
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