Diabetes has a wide reach on the American population, and it can get even wider if we do not take a stand. As one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, Diabetes is a powerful beast, and everyone is susceptible to its wrath. That is why we have American Diabetes Month. November is the time for advocates to create awareness for this disease and how to prevent it. The more people that understand the illness and realize its gravity, the closer we are to halting its progress, right in its tracks!
What is it?
First off, what exactly is it? Well, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) defines as: a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. This is a huge source of energy and is restored and supplied by food you eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body does the right amount of insulin or use it well. Glucose will then stay in your blood and does not reach your cells, and this happening for too long can cause health issues.
It is very important to know what the disease looks like in case you or someone you know is experiencing its symptoms. This way, said person can get the help they need. Here are some symptoms from the NIDDK:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Sores that do not heal
- Unexplained weight loss
According to an article on healthfinder.gov, 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, which is over 30 million people! Adding to that, another 84 million adults in the U.S. have high odds of developing Type 2. That is the thing about this disease that many do not realize; anyone can get it, and at any time. If you stroll down the wrong food path for too long, you are at risk!
How to Prevent It
There are many things that the concerned can do to ensure a lower risk to developing the disease. Healthline.com has some good suggestions and explanations:
- Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet
Why? Because eating food that is high in refined carbs and sugar can increase your blood sugar and insulin levels unhealthily, and can lead to diabetes after a while.
- Work out regularly.
Why? Working out routinely increases insulin secretion and sensitivity, and this builds you up to a better defense against the progression of the disease.
- Drink water…a lot of water, and cut out that sugary soda stuff.
Why? Water is the top drink when it comes to pure and natural. Sugary colas and punch have been known to cause increased risks of type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes of adults. (LADA)
Please Note: If you already have Diabetes all hope is not lost. It can be managed quite easily with a mix of medications, exercise and diet according to Webmd.com.
What Can I Do and Why?
Helping to grow awareness about Diabetes is vital. If more people raise their voices and know what is going on, then Diabetes will only continue to get more attention. There will be more of a chance for at risk individuals to hear warnings and possibly change their unhealthy habits. There will be more of a chance for people to recognize symptoms and get help. If you save even one person by speaking up, then you are still saving a person!