Let me ask you a couple of questions. Have you been thirsty more often than usual? Have you experienced blurred vision or had to urinate more often than normal? Or have you had any unexplained weight loss? Why am I asking these questions? Because they are all classic symptoms of a disease called diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that far too often goes undetected and undiagnosed until it’s too late. As a matter of fact, over 6 million Americans have diabetes right now and don’t even know they are carrying it.
What Is Diabetes?
In simple terms, diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body fails to produce enough insulin to convert the sugar in your bloodstream into energy. There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Without treatment diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, loss of hands and feet, and even death.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is most often diagnosed in children and teenagers. Very rarely does it strike adults. With Type 1 Diabetes the pancreas fails to either produce any insulin at all, or not enough to help. For those with Type 1 Diabetes they need daily insulin shots in order to survive.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
This form of diabetes is more common in adults over the age of 45, although it is now spreading to those much younger, including a massive increase in teenagers. People with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin being produced, but it no longer converts the sugar into stored energy. It simply keeps circulating in the bloodstream and causing damage.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated?
We know that Type 1 Diabetics need daily insulin shots, but what about Type 2 Diabetics? Though the treatment may vary from your doctor, the standard procedure is a special diet and exercise plan. If that fails to bring your blood sugar levels down, your doctor may give you an oral hypoglycemic which will control it. Many times though, diet and exercise can control and prevent the onset of diabetes.
How Do You Get Tested For Diabetes?
A doctor will do a very simple blood test. Usually, you will be asked to not eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the test. The results are known within a day or two.
How Can You Prevent Getting Diabetes?
You can help lower your risk of becoming diabetic by doing the things that are basically common sense.
Exercise at least 3 times a week.
Take off the excess weight with a sensible diet plan.
Eat a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables.
Cut down, or cut out the fast food
Not only will doing these things reduce your risk of getting diabetes, but it also reduces the risk of heart disease and other health issues.
By gaining a better understanding of what diabetes is and how to take the right steps to prevent it, you can lead a much happier and healthier life.