More than 30 billion people in the world have diabetes. In observance of Diabetes Awareness Month, Meghan Beasy from the American Diabetes Association joined us on a recent episode of Community Healthy Matters to discuss what you need to know about this growing epidemic. View her segment here.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body doesn’t properly process food. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough of a hormone called insulin, or can’t use it as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood.
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It was once referred to as juvenile diabetes, but adults can be diagnosed as well. Only five percent of people with diabetes have Type 1. The more common form is Type 2, in which your body does not use insulin properly.
A few common symptoms of diabetes include urinating often, a constant feeling of thirst, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, weight loss and slow-healing cuts or bruises. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult your physician. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations if not treated properly.
Treatment for the most common form of diabetes (Type 2) typically includes diet control, exercise, home glucose testing and, in some cases, oral medication or insulin. While there is no cure, diabetes is preventable by a maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and staying active.
Every diabetic individual needs unique care, so it’s important to work closely with your health care provider. Learning as much as possible about your disease and making good lifestyle choices can help you feel in control if you’re living with diabetes. For more information, visit diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES.